A MUM whose 13-year-old daughter was plied with drugs and alcohol by a gang of Asian men who groomed her for sex has spoken of her ‘nightmare’ ordeal.
The woman, a mum-of-seven, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she feared her daughter would be lured into drug addiction, prostitution and finally killed before the authorities intervened.
She said her daughter was targeted when she came to live with her in East Lancashire after the relationship with her father broke down.
“She was isolated. Her older siblings had friends but they were 18 and 19. She sort of latched onto them really.”
But soon the worried mum became concerned that her daughter was spending too much time with her so-called new “friends.”
“She was always texting the friends of her older brother, she was meeting with them and started staying out at night and if I tried to ground her she would go ballistic.
“I used to wait until she had gone out then call the police. When she came home she had no explanation of where she’d been or who she’d been with. She was a stranger to me.”
The abuse came to light when some graffiti of a sexual nature was found scrawled on the girl’s bedroom wall. It had been written by a man who had visited the house in the middle of the night.
It later emerged the girl had been receiving texts from several much older men who would take her out in their cars and give her alcohol. Everything came to a head when she was given cocaine and taken to a hotel.
She said: “I gave my permission for the police to intervene and seize her mobile phone. I didn’t know what was going on at the time.
“I felt helpless and angry. I tried to confront the perpetrators but they just laughed at me. They found it highly amusing.”
The girl and her family were helped by Operation Freedom, a multi-agency task force set up to protect girls and boys from child sexual exploitation.
Months on the girl has returned to school and is looking to the future.
“She is a totally different person now. I’m really proud of her. I would urge any parents who are worried about their children being exploited to talk to them. Just make sure. If you are wrong fantastic.”
She was speaking at a conference designed to tackle child sexual exploitation, organised by Lancashire police.