The Bristol sex gang was a large group of Somali men (thirteen named below) who committed serious sexual offences against underage teenage girls in Bristol, southwestern England. In November 2014, they were convicted of offences including rape, paying a child for sex, causing or inciting child prostitution, sexual acts with children and sex trafficking. As in the Oxford, Derby, Rochdale, Rotherham and Telford prosecutions, the abused girls were almost all white and the gang were of Muslim heritage, but were Somali rather than Pakistani.
The gang abused and prostituted their victims across Bristol, using hotels, private houses, parks and public toilets. Some were drug-dealers selling heroin and cocaine, while others were described as “well-educated men with good prospects”. As in similar sex-abuse cases in other parts of Britain, their victims were typically “vulnerable girls” who were supposedly under local authority care. The gang coerced the girls into sex with small payments of money, gifts of drugs and alcohol, and by persuading them that having sex with many men was part of “Somali ‘culture and tradition'”.
In a police interview, Zakaria referred to two thirteen-year-old victims of one incident of abuse as “dirty slags” who knew that their function was to “s*** d*** and then f*** off”. He had trafficked a “small 13-year-old girl” to a “sex party” in a hotel room in Bristol, where he raped her twice in what the trial judge, Julian Lambert, described as a “rough, callous and very nasty manner” and using “significant” force. Zakaria left the girl “totally humiliated and bleeding”. The girl was then raped again by Jusuf Abdirazak, whom the judge described as acting “without humanity and with no pity whatsoever”.
Members included these nine men: Said Zakaria, Abdirashid Abdulahi, Mohamed Dahir, Liban Abdi, Jusef Abdirizak, Mohamed Jumale, Abdulahi Aden, Arafat Ahmed Osman and Idleh Osman.
Mustapha Farah, 20, aka Greens, Liban Abdi, 21, alias Leftback, and Arafat Osman, 20, aka Lefteye, were convicted of preying on vulnerable teenage girls and paying for their sexual services.
Idleh Osman, 21, known as Sniper was found guilty of arranging or facilitating payment for sexual services of a child.
All four also pleaded guilty to a supplying heroin and cocaine.
Mustafa Deria, 22, and Abdulahi Aden, 20, known as Trigger, were found guilty of rape.
Besides these six, a total of thirteen men are listed on the chart below, which indicates the charges associated with the seven others.
|Liban “Left Back” Abdi||Paying for sexual services of a child, admitted supplying cocaine and heroin, admitted a separate charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm to a prison officer.||13 years and 8 months|
|Mustapha “Greens” Farah||Paying for sexual services of a child, supplying heroin and cocaine.||13 years|
|Arafat “Left Eye” Osman||Paying for sexual services of a child, supplying heroin and cocaine.||13 years|
|Idleh “Sniper” Osman||Facilitating child prostitution, supplying heroin and cocaine.||10 years|
|Abdulahi “Trigger” Aden||Rape, possession of indecent pictures of a child, supplying heroin and cocaine.||13 years|
|Mustafa “Magic’s cousin” Deria||Rape||7 years and 6 months|
|Said “Target” Zakaria||Rape, supplying heroin and cocaine||11+5 years|
|Mohamed “Deeq” Jumale||Rape, sexual activity with a child, aiding and abetting Omar Jumale in sexual activity with a child.||10 years|
|Jusuf “Starns” Abdirizak||Rape||7,5 years|
|Sakariah “Zac” Sheik||Rape||4 years|
|Abdirashid “Abs” Abdulahi||Rape||4 years|
|Omar Jumale||Sexual activity with a Child.||2 years|
|Mohamed “Kamal” Dahir||Child prostitution.||2 years|
Reaction in Bristol
The Guardian reported that the case had caused “huge concern” in Bristol and sent “shockwaves” through the close-knit Somali community there. Muna Abdi, chair of the Bristol Somali Forum, said that the offences were “evil acts … utterly condemned” by the community. Hugh Sherriffe, regional director for the children’s charity Barnardo’s, said the case was the “tip of the iceberg” and that similar sexual abuse was still taking place in Bristol and across the rest of the country. Police in Bristol have active investigations under way into similar sex crimes committed by “49 other suspects” of “various communities and ethnic backgrounds”.
Responding to the convictions, a local headteacher wrote in The Guardian’s dedicated education section of how “schools can’t cope with the tide of child sexual exploitation”. The headteacher expressed dismay at the way in which the perceived ethnicity of the offenders had harmed race relations in Bristol and described how it had been necessary to devote the month before the verdict to “redoubling our focus on combating racism”. The headteacher noted how already “struggling” communities had been further demoralised by a “case on this scale” and spoke of feeling “dread” at “what else is out there”.