COUNCILLORS have praised a Bradford judge for the lengthy sentences he handed down to a grooming gang.

Last month Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC sentenced nine men to over 136 years in prison over a string of sexual abuse and rape offences involving two teenage girls in the care system.

The case was discussed at a meeting of Bradford Council on Tuesday. Members spoke of the horrific case, and also the behaviour of the men and their supporters in the court room.

Councillor Simon Cooke (Cons, Bingley Rural) said: "Nationally a lot is being done around safeguarding, but I don't think enough is being done around to find out why men do this in the first place. What are these young men being taught to lead them to behave in this way?

"The friends and families of these men were shouting abuse in court and acting like these men were the victims."

Call for review into grooming in district after men jailed for 132 years

Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: "Their behaviour in the court room was truly objectionable. The sentences show how serious this crime is taken in this city.

"We need to make make sure, not just the Council but parents, schools and communities, that people are taught the value of human life, and how to treat women."

Councillor Mike Gibbons (Cons, Ilkley) praised the lengthy sentences the men were given, adding: "I saw Judge Durham Hall after the sentencing and congratulated him on what he had done and the message he had sent out with those sentences. He should be congratulated."