A grooming gang that preyed on vulnerable girls and young women in Newcastle did not target their victims by race or religion, a judge has ruled.
The former director of public prosecutions, Lord McDonald, claimed the abuse of white women by predominantly Asian men was a “profoundly racist” crime after the scandal was revealed last month.
But while sentencing members of the gang at Newcastle Crown Court, Judge Penny Moreland said they picked out their victims “not because of their race, but because they were young, impressionable, naive and vulnerable”.
She added: “This is extremely serious offending against vulnerable members of society and that is the basis on which I intend to sentence."
The court had heard how teenagers and young women were groomed and given alcohol and drugs, before being coerced or forced into sex in Newcastle’s West End.
Prosecutor John Elvidge QC said the victims who gave evidence in court were all "white British".
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