A Peterborough youth who was caged for his part in a campaign of sex abuse against vulnerable teenagers has had his sentence slashed by appeal judges.
Daaim Ashraf, 20, worked with accomplice Yasir Ali, 29, plying girls with drink and abusing them at remote spots and hotels in Peterborough and Stamford.
After his conviction in May last year, Ashraf, of Almoners Lane, was jailed for 12 years at Cambridge Crown Court in June last year.
Ali, of Grange Road, also Peterborough, got 20 years for his role in much more serious offences, committed over a longer period.
But today, after an appeal by his lawyers, three senior judges led by Lord Justice Fulford said Ashraf’s sentence was ‘excessive’ and slashed it to eight years.
However, they refused appeals by Ali against his convictions and the 20-year sentence he received.
‘In our view, the judge failed adequately to reflect, in comparison with Ali, the lesser role played by Ashraf, the far shorter period of time over which his offending extended and the absence of any conviction for rape,’ said the judge.
‘Although the offences for which he was convicted were serious, he was only involved for six weeks and there are grounds for concluding that he was, at least to an extent, manipulated by Ali.’
The Appeal Court heard young girls from the Peterborough, Lincolnshire and Rutland areas were befriended and groomed for sexual purposes.
They were driven to out-of-the-way locations, where they were subjected to serious sexual assaults.
On occasions, ‘parties’ were organised at hotels, where sexual activity took place and photos taken.
Ashraf was found guilty of five counts of trafficking for sex, sexual assault, sexual activity with a child and sexual activity in the presence of a child.
Ali however, was convicted of four rapes, seven counts of trafficking, two of making child porn and one of sexual activity in a child’s presence. His crimes took place across five years.
Lawyers for Ali argued that his convictions were unsafe, but Lord Justice Fulford, sitting with Mr Justice Jay and Mr Justice Edis, rejected the claim.
And upholding his sentence, the judge added: ‘We are unhesitatingly of the view that his overall sentence, although long, was entirely merited.
‘It is of central significance that he was responsible for raping four young girls as part of a campaign of sexual exploitation in which he deliberately selected vulnerable and youthful victims, who he mistreated and degraded.’
Whereas Ashraf’s sentence was cut to eight years, Ali’s appeals were rejected.