Two men who were part of the notorious Rochdale grooming gang have claimed their trafficking and abusing of underage girls was not ‘that big a crime’.
Adil Khan, 51 and Qari Abdul Rauf, 52 are fighting against a decision to deport them back to Pakistan for their role in the group.
For two years from early 2008, girls as young as 12 were plied with alcohol and drugs and gang-raped in rooms above takeaway shops.
They were then ferried to different flats in taxis where other men paid cash to have sex with them.
Police said as many as 47 girls were groomed by the gang, which was eventually brought to justice in 2012, when nine men were convicted of sex offences.
Khan got a girl, 13, pregnant but denied he was the father then met another girl, 15, and trafficked her to others using violence when she complained.
He was sentenced to eight years in 2012 and released on licence four years later.
Rauf trafficked a 15-year-old girl, driving her to secluded areas to have sex with her in his taxi and ferry her to a flat in Rochdale where he and others abused her.
The father-of-five was jailed for six years and released in November 2014 after serving two years and six months of his sentence.
Both men are now appealing against the deportation order served on them last July by Home Secretary Priti Patel, with Khan citing his human rights as reason not to be kicked out of the UK.
He also claims to have renounced his Pakistani citizenship which would make him ‘stateless’ and would be a bar to deportation.