JUDGE Sarah Wright outlined the horrific impact a grooming and sex abuse gang of eight Rotherham men had left on their vulnerable teenage victims as she jailed the abusers for a total of 96 years.
Addressing the men at Sheffield Crown Court, she said: “The childhood and adolescence of each of the victims can never be reclaimed.
“Each has suffered severe psychological harm.
“They continue, and will continue to suffer considerable trauma throughout their lives as a result of your actions.”
The judge, who praised each of the victims for their courage in giving evidence, told how one girl had been left with significant mental health issues and, as a woman, had ongoing eating disorders, issues with forming relationships, damaged self-identity and has a diagnosis of PTSD, depressive episodes and panic disorder.
The judge added: “She has also had incidents of self-harming. She suffers panic attacks every day.
“She describes how everything about her has changed.
“The extreme damage that you have caused to her makes it all the more impressive that she has had the courage to bring her own story out into the open and has put herself into forums where she has discussed the issues of child sexual exploitation in order selflessly to seek to help others.
“Her courage and strength in doing that should in no way deflect from acknowledging the extreme damage she has suffered as a result of your offending.
“Her dignity and bravery as she gave evidence in this courtroom was palpable.”
Another victim had also suffered “severe psychological harm” which had impacted on her relationships and her own parenting style.
“She describes how her childhood was ruined and how she has been deprived of a better life,” the judge said.
The third victim still suffered flashbacks and had been diagnosed with depression, the judge said.
“She has only this year felt strong enough to be able to speak about her experiences,” Judge Wright said.
“The abuse she suffered has affected her entire life.”
The judge praised the victims for their “remarkable courage”, adding: “
“Each of the victims has shown bravery beyond measure in speaking about such intimate and traumatic experiences and exposing themselves to such intrusion and questioning.
“It was readily apparent that the real motive for each of them was a desire to bring the issue of child sexual exploitation into the public domain, to help to protect other girls in the future and to try to move on with their lives.”
Fourth brother jailed for child sex offences
Child sex abuse trial: Gang jailed for a total of 96 years