Four men convicted in connection with sexual exploitation investigation

22 Sep 2017 16:54 PM

Wren montage [View Full Size]

Today four men have been found guilty for offences relating to the sexual exploitation of young girls.

Soran Azizi, 28, of Byker, has been convicted of two offences of trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation.

Palla Pour ,25, of Longbenton, has been convicted of four offences of sexual activity with a child, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, supplying controlled drug to another and permitting his premises to be used for the supply of drugs.

Ribas Asad ,29, of Newcastle, has been convicted of sexual assault, paying for the sexual, supplying a controlled drug, causing a child to engage in sexual activity and sexual activity with a child.

Saman Obaid , 26, of Byker, was convicted of four offences of supplying controlled drugs.

They have all been convicted as part of Northumbria Police's Operation Sanctuary, which is a dedicated operation into the investigation and disruption of sexual exploitation and related offences.

This specific strand of the investigation - Operation Wren - is an investigation into allegations of non-recent sexual abuse where the offending has taken place during the period November 2006 – October 2012 at addresses in the west end of Newcastle and North Tyneside. 

Officers from the Sanctuary team identified these victims after the launch of Operation Sanctuary in 2014. The women, who were all aged between 13 and 17 at the time of the offences, were encouraged by officers to come forward and give evidence against the men who had abused them.

Some of the victims bravely told police the truly horrific nature of their suffering and thanks to their exceptional bravery , justice has been done. 

Detective Superintendent Steve Barron said: "Today has been another success in bringing justice for victims of sexual exploitation. We absolutely praise the bravery of the victims who have come forward to give evidence. Without them, we would not have the results we have today.

"Our aim is to highlight the successful convictions and positive work we are doing as part of Operation Sanctuary to give other victims the confidence to come forward.

"It is an excellent example of the ongoing work we are doing in our commitment to Operation Sanctuary and the protection of vulnerable women and girls.

"There has been a lot of media reporting recently around Operation Sanctuary following the conviction of 18 people under Operation Shelter which had been subject of reporting restrictions. The public will be hearing more about the proactive and positive work we are doing to tackle sexual exploitation. 

"This is not something the public should feel alarmed about but more reassured that we are proactively seeking victims and working with communities to eradicate this behaviour of offending

"This is not just about seeking justice for victims currently being abused. This is an excellent example of how we will investigate any suspected exploitation – recent or non-recent.

"We want to ensure there is a repugnant stigma associated with sexual exploitation in all communities and in particular against individuals who think this treatment of women and girls is in any way acceptable

"Safeguarding is everyone’s business and we need people to be our eyes and ears of the community. 

"Protecting vulnerable people is our absolute priority and it is what we are here to do. Since the launch of Operation Sanctuary we have safeguarded hundreds of victims and witnesses."

They are due to be sentenced October 30.


View the full news release