Saturday, January 18, 2020



Whistleblowing detective says police chiefs should face charges over Asian grooming gang scandal that saw 97 men left free to rape or abuse 57 young girls because officers feared arrests would 'stoke racial tensions'

  • Greater Manchester Police and local authorities slammed in damning report
  • Officers were aware of 'many sensitive community issues' between 2002 and 05
  • They feared 'the incitement of racial hatred' while victims did not get justice  
A whistleblowing detective has said Greater Manchester Police chiefs should face charges after a damning new report revealed they left 97 men free to groom 57 young girls by dropping their investigation into Asian grooming gangs.
GMP detectives launched Operation Augusta in 2004 after the death of a 15-year-old girl called Victoria Agoglia who previously told carers she had been raped and injected with heroin by an Asian man.
But the probe was shelved a year later despite the force uncovering almost 100 paedophiles in south Manchester who later went on to rape and abuse dozens of young girls in the areas. 
After the devastating findings were published in a new report today, former GMP detective Maggie Oliver has slammed officials responsible for dropping their enquiries. 
Speaking at the launch of the report, which was commissioned by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, Mrs Oliver said: 'Fifteen years - the perpetrators that we knew on Operation Augusta were abusing generations of children were allowed to walk free.
'The kids themselves that I spoke to - I was on Operation Augusta, I wrote the report - those children were just cast to the wind, left to their own devices. Nobody cared about them.
'And I am talking about the people at the top of the police and at social services. The chief constable, assistant chief constables, head of social services, the people who knew the facts, who knew the truth and they chose to bury the truth. That, in my opinion, is unforgivable.'
Whistleblowing former detective Maggie Oliver (pictured) has said Greater Manchester Police chiefs should face charges after a damning new report revealed they left 97 men free to groom 57 young girls by dropping their investigation into Asian grooming gangs
After the devastating findings were published in a new report today, former GMP detective Maggie Oliver (pictured during her police days) has slammed officials responsible for dropping their enquiries
Whistleblowing former detective Maggie Oliver (pictured) has said Greater Manchester Police chiefs should face charges after a damning new report revealed they left 97 men free to groom 57 young girls by dropping their investigation into Asian grooming gangs
The Greater Manchester force has been accused of 'covering up' the historic child sex abuse in south Manchester over claims they didn't want to be accused of racism. 
The 145-page report slams the authorities for failing to protect victims from their perpetrators and claims officers were 'aware of sensitive community issues' and the 'incitement of racial hatred in the area at that time.  
Mrs Oliver went on to claim that the oaths of integrity signed by chief constables - although she did not specify which - had 'gone out the window'.
She added: 'And the question I would raise is: why are those people not facing charges of misconduct in a public office? Where is the accountability?
'They should be put in front of a court of law in the same way I would be if I failed to investigate a criminal damage. These rapes were never recorded and that is a failure. And it isn't a mistake, it was a deliberate and intentional desire to bury the truth.'
She said phase two of the review, which will look at the Operation Span police investigation into grooming in Rochdale - on which she was also a detective - would 'find the same cover ups, the same failures. This is a pattern.'  
Its first phase focused in particular on Augusta - prompted by allegations of failure made by Mrs Oliver, whom Andy Burnham today said had been 'vindicated'. 
Police failed young girls being groomed in 'plain sight' by Asian gangs in Manchester because of concerns of inciting racism, a new report has found. Pictured: Cast of 'Three Girls' a BBC dramatisation of the Rochdale child sex abuse ring, which will be investigated in part two of the report
Police failed young girls being groomed in 'plain sight' by Asian gangs in Manchester because of concerns of inciting racism, a new report has found. Pictured: Cast of 'Three Girls' a BBC dramatisation of the Rochdale child sex abuse ring, which will be investigated in part two of the report 


The report, commissioned by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, found:
  • Social workers knew that one 15-year-old girl, Victoria Agoglia, was being forcibly injected with heroin, but failed to act. She died two months later.
  • Abusers were allowed to freely pick up and have sex with Victoria and other children from city care homes, 'in plain sight' of officials.
  • Greater Manchester Police dropped an operation that identified up to 97 potential suspects and at least 57 potential victims. Eight of the men went on to later assault or rape girls.
  • As recently as August 2018, the Chief Constable refused to reopen the dropped operation.
The review was commissioned by Greater Manchester's Mayor's office in 2017 and written by experts Malcolm Newsam and Gary Ridgway. 
The report claims officers were aware of 'many sensitive community issues' around policing in south Manchester in 2002 and 2003. 
It quotes an unnamed GMP detective constable talking about the arrest and imprisonment of one child sex offender who wasn't of Asian heritage.

Dead at 15: Victim regularly injected with heroin by older man 

Victoria Agoglia's family have been asking for her abuse to be investigated ever since her death in Rochdale in 2003.
Victoria, who had been in care since the age of eight, disclosed two months before her death to her social worker and a substance misuse worker that an older man was injecting her with heroin, a new report into the police and council operation triggered by her death found.
'No formal action was taken to investigate this matter or prevent it occurring again,' the report said.
'Within two months of this revelation, Victoria died.'
Pictured: Victoria Agoglia, who died in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, aged just 15 in 2003
Pictured: Victoria Agoglia, who died in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, aged just 15 in 2003 
Following an inquest into her death in 2007, coroner Simon Nelson, as part of a narrative verdict, said 'no inferences can be made that the events from the 24 September [when Victoria was injected] were reasonably foreseeable', the report said.
A review has now said it was 'unclear' how the coroner could have concluded that.
Victoria, who was known as Vicky and used her stepfather's surname of Byrne, spent time in care homes across Greater Manchester.
She had ambitions of becoming a hairdresser and a model.
In the two years before her death, the report found Victoria was repeatedly 'threatened, assaulted and returned to her residential unit intoxicated'.
Distressed, the report said she disclosed she was involved in sexual exploitation and alleged rape and sexual assault.
'While we found evidence of multi-agency meetings, not one of these occasions resulted in a child protection investigation to protect Victoria from significant harm,' the report added.
'Although Victoria was cared for by Manchester City Council, a man who had been previously identified as her so-called 'pimp' was given permission to visit her in her accommodation three times a week.'
He claims he was told by his bosses to 'try to get other ethnicities'.   
It quotes him saying: 'He was grooming kids, the demographics didn't fit as it was a prosperous middle-class area, and they were well-to-do kids. They weren't from the original tranche of children that were in children's homes.
'What had a massive input was the offending target group were predominantly Asian males and we were told to try and get other ethnicities.'
The report also states senior GMP officers were aware of the 2004 Channel 4 TV programme, Edge Of The City about a similar problem in Keighley, West Yorkshire and it was thought this could potentially raise media and political interest in any similar problem occurring in Manchester, particularly as it involved accusations of grooming schoolchildren.
'Concerns were expressed about the risk of proactive tactics or the incitement of racial hatred,' the report stated.
GMP had at that time recently dealt with an unrelated case involving Kurdish people in the south Manchester that had created community tensions and Operation Augusta was to examine accusations against another minority group.
But a Detective Superintendent was emphatic that any concerns about creating further community tensions did not influence any of his investigative decisions, but the impact 'clearly had to be considered' by senior officers in the gold command group. 
In a damning assessment, the 145-page document reads: 'The authorities knew that many were being subjected to the most profound abuse and exploitation but did not protect them from the perpetrators.' 
The report claims senior GMP officers chose to under-resource Operation Augusta and a decision was made to close it down then communicated to senior officers of Manchester City Council at a meeting later that day on April 22, 2005.
Minutes of both meetings have disappeared, though one officer's note mentioned discussion of 'press strategies' and several officials have chosen not to co-operate with the review.
Its authors were also refused access to case files relating to Victoria held by the Manchester City Coroner.
The report looked at a 'sample' of cases from the time, detailing a series of allegations of rape and sexual abuse made by girls that were not followed up and with no further action taken by GMP or the council.
In each case the report concludes repeatedly with the same sentence: 'We cannot offer any assurance that this was appropriately addressed by either GMP or Manchester City Council.'
As a result, 'very few of the relevant perpetrators were brought to justice and neither were their activities disrupted'.
This was despite 'clear evidence' teenage girls, aged 12 to 16, were being sexually abused 'generally perpetrated by a group of older Asian men'. 
This evidence included the police having their names, where they lived or worked and the flats above take-away shops where the abuse occurred.
It was documented how perpetrators would ply girls with drugs and alcohol before physically and sexually abusing them. 
One vulnerable young girl told carers she would 'go to various houses' where she was forced to have sex with groups of men. One of them then 'introduced' her to his brother.
Girls as young as 14 were reported to have 'boyfriends' aged in their mid-20s.
Another girl - described as 'still very young' - reported 'being restrained' by a man in his mid-20s, who then assaulted her and committed an 'extremely serious and distressing' sex act.
They were given money, in some cases a 'significant amount', along with vodka and cocaine.
Another youngster told how she would 'have sex with them without a fight' and 'do whatever they wanted to'.
And one child even 'begged' her carers to get her away from Manchester, saying an Asian man she referred to by a nickname 'made her do things she didn't want to do'.   
One suspect's vehicle uncovered in the initial investigation was linked to a Manchester police officer, who was later dismissed, the report added.
Some suspects even visited council-run children's homes, bringing alcohol and cannabis, with the apparent knowledge of council staff. 

Who is Maggie Oliver? The brave detective who refused to stay silent

Pictured: Maggie Oliver, former Greater Manchester Police and child sex abuse victim campaigner
Pictured: Maggie Oliver, former Greater Manchester Police and child sex abuse victim campaigner 
Margaret Oliver - better known as Maggie - joined Greater Manchester Police in 1997 as an officer.
She rose up the ranks to become a detective constable but resigned in 2013 over claims the force had failed victims of a Rochdale grooming gang. 
She was portrayed by Lesley Sharp in the BBC dramatisation of the Rochdale gang and acted as a consultant on the series.  
Maggie later went on to star in Celebrity Big Brother.  
When she went on compassionate leave in spring 2005, she was confident the sensitive police investigation she was part of was progressing well.
Operation Augusta, launched in 2004 following the death of Victoria Agoglia, had for the previous year been looking into what officer strongly suspected was a grooming network of older Pakistani-heritage men in the Rusholme area of Manchester, who they believed were having sex with vulnerable children living in care homes.
Maggie had been instrumental in gaining the trust of those girls and in compiling an extensive initial dossier of evidence.
But despite the probe identifying 97 suspected paedophiles and at least 57 young victims, it was shelved later that year.     
Today a damning report reveals the failures of Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council in handling widespread child sex exploitation in the area.  
Her life was, she says, completely altered by deciding to speak out about her experience of police failures nearly a decade ago.
She believes the law now needs changing so that senior officers who oversee major failures can be charged with misconduct or malfeasance once retired, potentially forfeiting their pensions.
'These men who walked away scott free in 2005, how many more kids have they raped?' she says of the Augusta suspects.
'If a chief constable allows that to continue, he should hang his head in shame and the very least we should be pushing for consequences and criminal charges.
'If they thought they could lose their pensions and they could be charged, it would focus their minds. Otherwise we'll just see another report like this in 15 years.'
In the meantime, she has no time for anyone who seeks to discredit her, even if the previous 15 years have been a very tough gig.
'It's been the most traumatic journey to here,' she says.
'But I do feel completely vindicated and I'm pleased I've proved to myself I've had the strength to carry on. This is the truth.'

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Four British children of London couple who joined ISIS in 2014 could return to the UK - but only if their mother agrees not to come back with them

  • Mehak Aslam and Shahan Choudary, both from London, joined IS in Syria in 2014
  • The government are investigating whether their four children could now return 
  • Both parents have had British citizenship stripped, while Choudary was jailed 
Four British children whose parents joined ISIS in 2014 may be repatriated from a Syrian refugee camp - but only if their mother agrees she cannot return with them.
The Government has said it will 'urgently investigate' bringing the children of Mehak Aslam, from East London, and Shahan Choudary, also from London, back to the UK.
The move could lead to the return of dozens of children trapped in camps following the defeat of IS. 
Aslam joined the terrorist group with Choudhury, who became an IS gravedigger and was later imprisoned.
The children of Mehak Aslam, from East London, and Shahan Choudary, also from London could be returned to the UK following the defeat of ISIS
The children of Mehak Aslam, from East London, and Shahan Choudary, also from London could be returned to the UK following the defeat of ISIS
Both have been stripped of their British citizenship.
Mohamed Aslam urged his daughter to sign the proposal from the Government which promised to begin investigating the process of the children's return..
He told ITV he recognised the need for children to be raised by their parents but said it was not possible for his grandchildren.
Mr Aslam said: 'That's a hard reality but at least they'll be safe here - at least they'll be safe and secure.'
He said a fifth grandchild was killed in an explosion in Syria.
Aslam joined the terrorist group with Choudhury (pictured), who became an IS gravedigger and was later imprisoned
Aslam joined the terrorist group with Choudhury (pictured), who became an IS gravedigger and was later imprisoned 
'She passed away - I can never forgive them (her parents) for that.
'They wanted to take this step for themselves - that's fine, that's their problem. Why involve the kids in this?'
An estimated 60 children whose parents joined IS are in Syrian refugee camps, with Whitehall long criticised over perceived inaction on their repatriation.
The Aslam and Choudhury families approached the Foreign Office for help after watching an interview with Shahan Choudhury last June.
A Foreign Office spokesman declined to comment on the Aslam children's case.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Birmingham primary school teacher JAILED for child sex offences

A man who worked as a primary school supply teacher has been jailed after sending sexual communications to an undercover police officer, he believed to be a 12-year-old girl.

Nasser Khalil aged 49 of Stechford, Birmingham, said he wanted to have sexual relations with the child the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told the court.
Birmingham Crown Court heard during the online chat with the child he believed to be just 12 years old, he asked if she was a virgin and described the “vile” things he wanted to do to her.
He also asked for selfies and suggested they wait till she turned 16 before meeting. Admitting to two offences, one count of sexual communication with a child and one count of attempting to cause or incite a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, Khalil was given a 20-month prison sentence.
Nasser Khalil aged 49 of Stechford, Birmingham
Virinder Bains, of the CPS, said: “Nasser Khalil has committed very serious crimes which have been met with the appropriate punishment.
“We will seek to prosecute, and protect all children from those who pose a risk to them and who seek to engage in such criminal behaviour.”
Balbir Singh, defending, said: “This man has used his teaching skills over the years to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds by tutoring them for no fee.
“Up to November 6 last year he lead a good and productive life and was of positive good character but his home life was falling apart.
“Sometimes, when that happens, people seek solace in companionship elsewhere.
“He was using a chatroom and he came across this profile.”
Passing sentence, Judge Richard Bond said “It is right to say you made immediate sexual references while you made it plain you were prepared to commit sexual acts.
“Rather bizarrely you directed her to a video on YouTube. In my judgment, you were trying to put the child at her ease by demonstrating you were a teacher and that you could be trusted.
“The communications you were having with the girl demonstrate you are sexually interested and excited by talking to underage girls.
“You, of all people, would have known the effect upon the child you were communicating with if it had been a real child.”

Khalil was arrested at his home in November and following his sentencing has been placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Labour leadership contender Jess Phillips is forced to suspend one of her key aides for posting 'offensive' antisemitic and anti-Israel tweets

  • jess Phillips suspended a key aide for posting 'offensive' antisemitic messages 
  • She took the decision on Friday after the aide described Israel as a 'murderer'  
  • Salma Hamid drew a distinction between Jewish faith 'based on love' and 'Zionists' 
  • She compared Israel to The Islamic State in Tweets stretching from 2014 to 2016
Labour aide Salma Hamid (pictured) was suspended on Friday
Labour aide Salma Hamid (pictured) was suspended on Friday
Labour leadership contender Jess Phillips has been forced to suspend one of her key aides for posting ‘offensive’ antisemitic and anti-Israel tweets, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
She took the decision on Friday evening after this newspaper sent her copies of a series of the messages posted by her office manager, including describing Israel as a ‘murderer’ that was ‘inflicting Holocaust conditions on Palestinians’.
Another message appeared to compare Israel to terrorist organisation Islamic State.
Embarrassingly for Mrs Phillips, she was forced to discipline her own staff member just hours after she put tackling antisemitism in the party at the heart of her bid to succeed Jeremy Corbyn
The outspoken Birmingham MP has emerged as one of the leading moderates in the race to lead her party. But The Mail on Sunday last week confronted her over tweets posted by Salma Hamid, Mrs Phillips’ Birmingham Yardley constituency office manager.
In a series of posts between 2014 and 2016 before she was employed by the MP, Mrs Hamid lambasted Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and praised militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza.
Jess Phillips, pictured outside the BBC in London on January 5, has been forced to suspend Hamid for posting 'offensive' antisemitic messages between 2014 and 2016. Phillips aide drew a distinction between Jews – ‘a faith based on peace and love’ – and Israel or ‘Zionists’
Jess Phillips, pictured outside the BBC in London on January 5, has been forced to suspend Hamid for posting 'offensive' antisemitic messages between 2014 and 2016. Phillips aide drew a distinction between Jews – ‘a faith based on peace and love’ – and Israel or ‘Zionists’
In one message in 2015 addressed directly to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, she appeared to equate Israel with terrorists in Islamic State, writing: ‘Because Israel obeys human rights/law? Hilarious! Isis are terrible too. So really there is no difference.’
In another Twitter exchange, Ms Hamid wrote: ‘We must show the world that “Israel” is the murderer!’ She also claimed that ‘Israel IS inflicting Holocaust conditions on Palestinians! Oppressive, racist and violent!’
Mrs Hamid did draw a distinction between Jews – ‘a faith based on peace and love’ – and Israel or ‘Zionists’. But Denny Taylor, spokesman for Labour Against Antisemitism, said: ‘These offensive tweets are, in our opinion, antisemitic and it is right that Jess Phillips has acted quickly and suspended her office manager.’
Last night, a spokesman for the MP said: ‘As soon as Jess was made aware of these comments, she acted. Her office manager has been suspended with immediate effect.’ Her office said Mrs Hamid did not wish to comment. Labour is braced for what many fear will be a damning report from the equalities watchdog into its handling of antisemitism complaints.