Rochdale Rape Gang Ringleader Appointed ‘Equalities Representative’ in Prison
The head of a vicious Pakistani child rape grooming gang in Rochdale has been granted the position of “equalities representative” for other inmates at the prison where he is incarcerated.
Shabir Ahmed, 69, was jailed in 2012 for 22 years for multiple child sex crimes centred on the Northern English city of Rochdale, including raping a young girl 30 times and acting as a ringleader for a grooming gang which plied young girls with drugs and alcohol and “passed them around” among each other.
The fact that he was elevated to “equalities representative” at Wakefield prison — colloquially known as ‘monster mansion’ due to the number of high-profile sex offenders and murderers there — came through a disclosure during a Parole Board hearing in which his bid to be released was rejected.
The role of equalities rep includes collecting the views of inmates in the same wing and acting as their messenger to the prison staff, the Daily Mail reported. Ahmed would have applied for the post and been subject to vetting, including consideration of the offence for which he was locked up.
Commenting on the decision to grant the child rapist special status in prison, prosecutor Nair Azfal said that it was “staggering both in its insensitivity and appropriateness”.
Azfal, who was involved in putting the Rochdale rape gang behind bars, added: “It’s like putting the wolf in charge of the sheep.”
A victim of Ahmed, only referred to as ‘Girl A’ to protect her anonymity, commented: “What the hell were the prison authorities thinking of? It’s insane to think they would let a racist like him anywhere near that kind of role.”
“The truth is that he’s a sick paedophile who’s also the most racist person I’ve ever seen. It’s total madness.”
Indeed, Ahmed had previously appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that his conviction should be overturned on human rights grounds because his jury had been all-white and allegedly influenced by “far-right” groups and that police had developed the case against him “to fit anti-Muslim prejudice”.
Yet judges in Strasbourg, often sympathetic to criminals, on this occasion rejected the “manifestly ill-founded” appeal.
Former detective turned grooming gang whistleblower Maggie Oliver said that his elevation in prison was “an insult to victims,” adding: “To give an equalities position to a child rapist who blames Western society for his appalling crimes demonstrates a shocking lack of judgment by authorities.”
Last month, a report into child sexual exploitation by grooming gangs in Oldham revealed that Ahmed was employed by the local Labour Party-run council to serve as a welfare officer. The report found that police were aware of accusations against the then-Labour member but did not share information with the council.
Ahmed was also sent by the council to serve at the Oldham Pakistani Community Centre, meaning he would have had close contact with young children. The report noted that if police had informed the council “it may have potentially avoided the tragic abuse of other children.”