Rochdale groomer says 'we have not committed that big a crime'
A Rochdale grooming gang member who got a girl pregnant and trafficked a 15-year-old said 'we have not committed that big a crime' as he said it would breach his human rights to be sent back to Pakistan.
Adil Khan, 51, and Qari Abdul Rauf, 52, have been told they are to be deported from the UK for the public good after both were part of a notorious gang convicted of a catalogue of serious sex offences against young - predominantly white - girls
The pair are appealing against a deportation order served last July. Khan told an immigration tribunal hearing on Tuesday: 'We have not committed that big a crime.'
He claims to have renounced his Pakistani citizenship which would make him 'stateless' and would be a bar to deportation.
Khan got a 13-year-old girl 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.
At an immigration tribunal hearing on Tuesday in London, Khan complained about the press coverage of the case.
Speaking via a videolink and through a Mirpuri translator, he said: 'The journalists have made our lives a living hell.
'We are not that big a criminal. We have not committed that big a crime. I'm innocent.
'I'm not committing any crime. The journalists made us out to be big criminals.'
Khan, Rauf and two others were among nine Muslim men convicted of sex offences against vulnerable girls in 2012.
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 and ferried to different flats in taxis where cash was paid to use the girls.
Police said as many as 47 girls were groomed.
Khan and Rauf were among four of the gang with dual UK-Pakistani citizenship, so liable to be stripped of UK citizenship and deported, after then-Home Secretary Theresa May ruled it would be 'conducive to the public good' to deprive the four of the right to remain in the UK.
The pair, along with another man, Abdul Aziz, then fought, and lost, a long legal battle against the deprivation order, losing a final Court of Appeal ruling in 2018.