THREE Huddersfield men have been jailed for more than 37 years after being convicted of "appalling" historic sex offences as part of an ongoing major investigation into child sexual abuse in the town.

Zahid Hassan, 32, Saqib Raheel, 34, and Sholan James, 30, were all sentenced at Leeds Crown Court today for sexual offences committed against vulnerable victims in the Huddersfield area between 2007 and 2014.

The men are the latest to be jailed as part of West Yorkshire Police’s long running Operation Tendersea enquiry, which was established to investigate the non-recent sexual abuse of young girls.

Zahid Hassan Zahid Hassan Saqib Raheel Saqib Raheel Sholan James Sholan James The three men were tried in relation to the sexual abuse of two females in the Huddersfield area between 2007 and 2014.

They were aged between 15 and 20 when they were separately targeted.

Zahid Hassan from Huddersfield was sentenced to 21 years after being found guilty of two rape offences against one victim when she was 18 years old and two rapes and an attempted rape of the second when she between 16 to 20 years of age. The sentence will run alongside an 18-year sentence he is already serving for previous offences.

Saqib Raheel of Cradley Heath, West Midlands, was sentenced to 10 years and six months for rape and sexual assault against the victim when she was 15 years old.

Sholan James of New House Road, Huddersfield was sentenced to six years for a sexual offence against the 15-year-old victim.

Commenting on the convictions, Detective Chief Inspector Ian Thornes of Kirklees District Police, said: “Operation Tendersea remains a major ongoing investigation into appalling non-recent sexual abuse of a number of vulnerable females in the Huddersfield area.

“Every conviction and sentencing represents another milestone in securing justice for these brave women. In coming forwards as they have done, they are playing a key role in getting these men off our streets and making them answer for their dreadful crimes.

“The length of the sentences the courts are imposing in these cases strongly reflects how seriously the police and justice system treat sexual exploitation and abuse of this kind and should serve as a stark warning to perpetrators.

“You will be caught and I can promise we will do everything we can to put you away for a very long time.”

He added: “I hope these convictions again demonstrate to victims that we will do all we possibly can to help you seek justice no matter when the crimes were committed. We do put victim’s needs at the heart of every investigation.”