FOUR members of an Oxford paedophile ring who were jailed through Operation Bullfinch have launched a bid to have their minimum prison sentences cut.

Bassam Karrar, Kamar Jamil, and brothers Anjum Dogar and Akhtar Dogar are appealing against the minimum amount of time they must spend behind bars after being found guilty of raping and prostituting girls as young as 11.

They were among seven men jailed at the Old Bailey in June 2013 after abusing six girls between 2004 and 2008.

A friend of the men’s victims yesterday said: “I was expecting this.

“I knew they wouldn’t just take their punishment and allow justice to be served. Why should they get off with a shorter sentence for everything they did as they destroyed so many lives?”

Karrar, 35, of Hundred Acres Close, Oxford, was ordered to serve at least 15 years behind bars after being found guilty of three counts of rape, three counts of conspiracy to rape and three counts of child prostitution and trafficking.

Akhtar Dogar, 34, and Anjum Dogar, 33, both of Tawney Street, Oxford, were jailed for a minimum of 17 years each after being convicted for a total of 20 offences between them.

Between them, there were eight counts of rape, six counts of conspiracy to rape and six counts of child prostitution and trafficking.

Jamil, 29, of Aldrich Road, Oxford, was ordered to serve at least 12 years in prison after being found guilty of five counts of rape, two counts of conspiracy to rape and one count of arranging child prostitution.

On Wednesday, lawyers for three of the men challenged their minimum sentence at the Court of Appeal in London.

Lawyers argued the sentences were much too tough, saying the terms the men had to serve before they could apply for parole were “excessive”.

They said some of the men had mental health problems.

The victims’ friend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, lived in the same care home as two of the victims as a teenager.

While she was not a victim of the gang herself, she was exposed to the abuse and was a key witness in the 2013 trial.

She said: “It has and will continue to affect generation after generation if these men have their sentences shortened.

“I’m really angry as it’s kicking the victims in the teeth once more.”

She added: “As for mental health problems, there is no excuse for abusing children.

She added: “It scares me because my biggest fear will be that they’ll get out sooner then anticipated and I’ll be in severe danger.

“I am really, really worried that I am going to be a target if their sentences are shortened.

“They stole my childhood and have even stolen part of my adulthood.”

Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice Saunders and Mrs Justice McGowan, will give their ruling on the men’s appeals at a later date.

The solicitors acting for the men did not respond to the Oxford Mail’s request for comment.