The ringleader of the latest Rochdale grooming ring led an outwardly respectable life, involved with the family’s children’s clothing business and living in a £700,000 detached house close to a primary school.
But 39-year-old Mohammed Ghani was hiding a vile secret – that as a young man, he groomed a young girl into putting up with degrading sexual abuse by his older brother and other associates.
It is a badge of shame which has ‘devastated’ his elderly Pakistan-born businessman father Abdul and his mother, community members told MailOnline this week.
‘I have known Abdul and Shamin for many, many years so the news that two of their sons were involved in this sort of thing will have come as a big shock,’ said Maqbool Ahmed, 71, their long-term neighbour in a quiet, upmarket part of Rochdale.
‘They’ll be devastated and have daughters of their own.’
Mohammed Ghani has been jailed for 14 years after being convicted of sexual offences against the child, known as Girl A
Ghani, 39, put on a respectable facade while living in a £700,000 detached home in Rochdale (pictured)
Ghani worked in his family’s clothing business (pictured), and had at one time been listed as a director and major shareholder in the firm
Ghani’s brother, Jahn Shahid Ghani, 50 was jailed for 20 years for causing a child to engage in sexual activity and four counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child
He revealed that like many of the older generation of Rochdale’s Pakistani community, Mr Ghani had previously struggled to comprehend how young, single men could participate in such abuse.
‘I used to have conversations about what happened with those girls,’ said Mr Ahmed.
‘And he said: ‘Those kind of people should be punished’.
One of the girls in the latest case to go to court was just 12 when she met Ghani, or ‘Gunny’ as she knew him, who was aged 19.
Ghani – who is believed to have been born in Britain – was in a passing car which pulled over, with the girl asked to come for a ‘sesh’.
Despite their age difference, the youngster – starved of affection in her troubled home life – would come to regard him as her boyfriend, the men’s trial heard.
But having been groomed, she would be plied with drugs and alcohol and taken to what was referred to the butcher’s flat – owned by Ghani’s brother Jahn Shahid Ghani – and treated ‘like a piece of meat’.
Girl A said Mohammed Ghani would collect her from school whilst she was still wearing her school uniform. He would have sex with her regularly and persuade her to have sex with his friends.
He later encouraged her to have sex with his cousin who was in his 30s and on holiday from Pakistan on the basis that he had ‘never had sex with a white girl before’, the trial heard.
Ghani also passed her to his ‘close friend’ and fellow abuser Insar Hussain who went on to have sex with her on a ‘large number of occasions’.
She unwittingly introduced a second girl to Jahn Shahid Ghani who was in turn given drugs and subjected to sexual abuse.
While the two victims were left to attempt to rebuild their shattered childhoods, Ghani is understood to have been working for the family firm, a back-street women’s and children’s clothing business.
He was listed at Companies House as a director and major shareholder, although he cut his ties with the firm after 2019.
Asked about Ghani’s role in the business this week, a woman at the warehouse refused to comment.
The firm helped the family afford a £700,000 detached house in an upmarket area of Rochdale where Ghani is understood to have lived at the time of his arrest.
A woman at the now run-down house claimed Ghani’s father was ‘out of town’.
His dark past was only exposed after Girl A – by then a grown woman – detailed her experiences over a decade later while participating in a parenting course.
Ghani – who had a single previous conviction, for possessing drugs – did not give evidence in his defence at the trial.
At his sentencing this week, his barrister, Clare Wade KC, said he ‘accepted his convictions’.
However she said it was Ghani’s contention that he ‘does not have an entrenched sexual interest in young girls’.
Reading from Girl A’s victim personal statement, prosecutor Charlotte Rimmer said she regarded ‘Gunny’ as the ‘start of things’.
‘She described him taking cruel advantage of her, as all the males did,’ she said.
Meeting him was ‘the worst mistake of her life’, she added, saying: ‘He made her feel worthless, he degraded her, he thought it was a laugh to treat her as a piece of meat.’
Giving evidence, she said her abusers ‘deserve everything they get’ – a sentiment certain to be shared by all right-thinking people hearing about her appalling ordeal.