THE "ringleader" of a gang that raped and sexually exploited a vulnerable Keighley schoolgirl more than a decade ago has been jailed for eight years.

Arif Choudhury, who has been wanted by police since 2013, was 15 when he raped a 13-year-old girl in the grounds of a church in May 2011.

He also forced her to have sex with nine other men, and a gang of 12 were found guilty of rape and sexual offences after a trial in 2015.

It was as these men were sentenced in 2016 that Choudhury was described as a central figure who had slipped through the net.

Today, the now 28-year-old was described as having been a drug dealer who recruited his victim and exploited her by getting her to deliver drugs for him.

When she refused, he raped her and later facilitated her rape by a string of men.


Bradford Crown Court heard that Choudhury took the young victim to the underground car park at the site of the former Keighley police station.

Choudhury grabbed her by the hair, slapped her, threw her on an old sofa and removed her underwear, prior to another man raping her.

The defendant then forced her to perform oral sex on two men and have sex with a fourth man.

On another occasion at Dalton Lane in Keighley, Choudhury was said to have used his “menacing presence and violent conduct” to force the victim to perform oral sex on five men one after another.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford Crown CourtBradford Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

He was found guilty of one count of rape and 12 counts of aiding and abetting the rape of a girl at trial.

Choudhury had effectively been on the run for most of the past decade having left the country and gone to Bangladesh. He was traced and charged in June 2022.

In sentencing, Judge Ahmed Nadim said he had borne in mind the fact that Choudhury, who is schizophrenic, was himself a child at the time of the offences.

He described how Choudhury had not needed to use continuing violence against the victim as he had “already secured compliance”.

He added that the victim “continues to live a lifestyle hampered by the emotional damage that has been inflicted upon her”, suffering from PTSD.

“The impact of your offending on your victim has been substantial. You contributed to the damage in her family relationships. [The victim] even to this day questions her self-worth - her ability to invest in and form trusting relationships has been severely undermined."

In a recent statement, the victim described her experiences as “brutal and terrifying”.

Judge Nadim said Choudhury had "immersed himself in a criminal lifestyle" at the time of the offending and had laughed at the crying girl after raping her.

He told him: “When she had the temerity to refuse to deal in drugs you in return raped her and there after aided and abetted others to rape her."

Choudhury, who was said to have been diagnosed with testicular cancer, was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 15 years.

Choudhury’s barrister Craig Hassall KC submitted that at the time of the offending his client was himself being exploited by older criminals.

He told the judge: “This may be a case were an exploited child has become the exploiter."

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Superintendent Nicola Bryar of West Yorkshire Police said: “This has been a painstaking investigation, culminating in years of work and we are so pleased to see Chowdhury sentenced for these terrible crimes against a vulnerable young girl.  

“I would like to praise the victim for her outstanding courage in coming forward and staying with this prosecution after so many years. She has had to endure one trial a number of years ago and due to Chowdhury fleeing the country before he was charged, she has now had to endure another. I do hope that today’s sentence will give her some closure and help her to continue with rebuilding her life.  

“Child Sexual Exploitation remains a top priority for West Yorkshire Police and we are committed to identifying individuals who are responsible for this abhorrent crime and bring them to justice. 

“Through working with our partners we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure children are safe and protected from harm.  

“We hope that this case will encourage others who may have been victims of child sexual exploitation no matter how long ago, to come forward and report it. We will listen to you and investigate all offences and make sure you have access to any help and support you need.”