The leader of a sex gang that targeted 100 girls as young as 13 has been released from jail after serving just eight years of a 26-year sentence.
Ahdel Ali, 32, and his brother Mubarak lead the gang of seven men, which operated in Telford, Shropshire. The town was a hub of abuse which saw up to 1,000 girls, some as young as 11, fall victim to sex gangs over a four-decade period.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain two years ago, one female victim of gangs in the town described the abuse she suffered as a ‘whirlwind of rape’.
Over a three-year period between 2006 and 2009, the Ali brothers’ gang targeted schoolgirls who they controlled as child prostitutes by giving them alcohol, food and money.
The Ali brothers were found guilty in 2012 of numerous offences against four girls aged from 13 to 17, including rape, sexual activity with a child, inciting and controlling child prostitution and trafficking children for sex.
But even though Ali, who was known as Eddie, was originally given 18 years in custody with a further eight years to serve on license after release, the paedophile was released on Wednesday.
The men, who were married, had described their victims as ‘w****s’, ‘s***s’ and ‘s**ts’.
In 2018, Ali was maimed with two razor blades in prison, leaving him needing 40 stitches on a wound which ran from his neck to his shoulder.
The news of Ali’s release was confirmed by local Conservative MP Lucy Allan, who has previously called for a Rotherham-style inquiry into the abuse allegations in Telford.
Ms Allen previously criticised the decision to release Ali’s brother in 2017 before he was recalled to prison a year later for breaching the terms of his licence. He had been handed a 14-year-term behind bars.
Miss Allan told the Shropshire Star of Ali’s release: ‘On this occasion the authorities handled the matter correctly, informing relevant parties, including victims, of the tagging and the exclusion from the local area.
‘I am concerned that the law still allows for early release of serious sexual offenders, however, since the sentencing of Ahdel Ali and Mubarak Ali the law has changed to prevent this in future and I am proud to have played my part in this change in the law. ‘
The Ministry of Justice stated: ‘Serious sex offenders released on licence are closely monitored and can be returned to prison if they breach strict conditions such as curfews and exclusion zones.’
During the Ali brothers’ trial, Stafford Crown Court heard the pair groomed two girls, aged 15 and 16, for sex before persuading them to work as prostitutes for them in 2008.
The pair were found guilty a total of 24 offences, including controlling child prostitution, people trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Five other men from the Telford area pleaded guilty to charges they faced prior to the start of their trials and were jailed for between two-and-a-half and seven years.
The operation to snare the sex abusers, ‘Operation Chalice’, was one of the largest in West Mercia Police history. A team of up to 50 officers worked on the inquiry to bring the men to justice.
In 2018, one of the victims of abusers in Telford spoke anonymously on Good Morning Britain to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid about their ordeal.
Telford has the third highest number of child sexual offences recorded in the UK, just behind Blackpool and Rotherham, according to the Home Office.
The woman, going by the name of ‘Holly’, described how she was sold ‘countless times’ for sex.
She said: ‘I was abused from the ages of 14-18, my abuse started with boys my own age, who went on to sell my phone number to older men.
‘And from there it was just a whirlwind of rape every day basically. I was going into the doctors and the youth sexual health clinic to get the morning after pill, probably twice a week, and nobody even questioned anything.
‘I had two abortions, still nothing was said to me. I was in cars that were stopped by the police and they asked me no questions of why I was there with a much older man… it got to the point where I tried to commit suicide, and still nobody asked me any questions about what was going on in my life and why I was reacting the way I was reacting.’
Holly added: ‘The way I got out of it was by actually leaving Telford and isolating myself from my friends and family and everybody else that I knew.
‘The reason why it went on for so long was because the men were blackmailing me saying that they were going to rape my family members or burn my house down.’
Asked by Susanna Reid how many men she thinks were responsible for the abuse she suffered, ‘Holly’ said: ‘I couldn’t even put a figure on it, it’s that many.
‘The main abusers, I’d say seven, but I was being sold every day, countless times, for four years.’
The authority in charge of the town, Telford and Wrekin Council, acted on just half of the warnings they received, it emerged at the time ‘Holly’ spoke out.
They were given 715 child sexual exploitation referrals in three years, but just 324 of the cases were referred.
Authorities had been warned of abuse a decade before Operation Chalice. But authorities were warned of the abuse a decade before Operation Chalice.
Only 303 were passed to its Children Abused Through Exploitation team, according to the figures released under freedom of information laws.
(This article was first published on the www.dailymail.co.uk on December18, 2020 and has been republished with a changed headline)
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