A 36-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for 18 years after being found guilty of five charges of sexually exploiting girls in Oxford. 

Tilal Mahdi, of Friars Street, Hereford, denied committing sexual offences against three girls.

In relation to one girl, he was found not guilty of a serious sexual assault, but was found guilty of conspiracy to rape and conspiracy to indecently assault a woman under 16, all from June 5 1996 and June 4 1998.

For another girl, he was found guilty of conspiracy to rape, trafficking within the United Kingdom for sexual exploitation, arranging or facilitating child prostitution and was found not guilty of rape, all from July 17 2005 to July 16 2008.

He was found not guilty of raping another girl on March 24, 2006, at the hearing at Oxford Crown Court. 

One of his victims, describing her ordeal, said: "I was 14 years old and I met him through a friend, outside a children’s home, he made me feel like he cared for me.

"He was never violent, he was caring and loving, he used alcohol and we used to get drunk quite a lot and smoke cannabis, but he would never drink himself, but he would smoke cannabis.

"I was 14 years old, I didn’t have any money, he always had money, he would buy the drink, he would buy the drugs.  

"It was a few months down the line, there would be parties at his, and there would be other men there. There would be dancing and his friends would get a bit touchy, and I’d look to him to say you know 'stop it' and then he would come up me and say 'come on if you love me, come make them happy.'

"At first I generally didn’t want to do it, but I’d get so drunk I don’t think I knew what was going on sometimes, and I loved him, I wanted to make him happy.

"I didn’t regard it as abuse back then, I thought he loved me.

"I originally went forward about the first case, but I got scared and I dropped out, and the police approached me again about Tilal and because I have children of my own I thought it was the right thing to do.

"It makes my skin crawl that I saw him, a picture of him when I had to do the face recognition thing and it made me feel sick.

"Well it’s not your fault and you should come forward and talk because there are people now that will do something about it. Back then it happened a lot and nothing was done, but now it’s all going to change.

"I’m closer with my family more than ever now, but I don’t have a lot of friends, I don’t trust anyone.

"I’ll never be able to have a normal relationship again. I can’t, I can’t be with anyone, I’ve tried and I just can’t I’m just happy with my children now."

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Senior investigating officer Det Ch Insp Mark Glover said: “Although the offences were separated by 12 years, the experiences of these young women were very similar which points towards a pattern of appalling behaviour by Mahdi.

“He would befriend the girls and make them feel wanted and special. Once he’d gained their trust, he would then use them for his own sexual gratification. Not only that, but he would then allow others to abuse the girls as well.

“The girls were underage, they were threatened and they were plied with alcohol and drugs, so felt they had no choice but to do what Mahdi told them.

"This was a case of sexual exploitation, with Mahdi exercising power over these girls for his own horrific needs.

“Today’s sentence is testament to those girls for having the courage to come forward and tell police what had happened to them. Because of that bravery, a dangerous sexual predator is behind bars.

“I hope it also goes some way to showing how committed we are to tackle Child Sexual Exploitation, supporting victims and prosecuting offenders.

“If you have been a victim of abuse, or think you know someone who has been, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.”