Men in ‘exploitation’ order named

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Published: Wednesday 19th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Two men ordered to stay away from girls after social services bosses in Birmingham told how they were taking ”innovative” legal action in a bid to protect vulnerable children who may be victims of sexual exploitation can be identified, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Keehan today said the names of Mohammed Anjam, 31, and Omar Ahmed, 27, could be revealed – despite objections from police, who had raised concerns about the men’s safety.

He made the ruling at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London after the Press Association news agency and Times Newspapers argued that the public had right to know.

The judge had granted long-term injunctions against the two men earlier this week after social workers and police raised concerns about the welfare of a vulnerable 17-year-old girl who is in the care of Birmingham City Council.

He barred the men from approaching the girl until she turned 18, following a public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

The judge also barred them from approaching ”any female under 18”, with whom they were not personally associated, in public places.

Birmingham City Council had launched civil court proceedings against 10 men with the aim of protecting youngsters who may not understand what was happening to them, Mr Justice Keehan had been told.

Lorna Meyer QC, for Birmingham City Council, said West Midlands Police had supported the move.

She said the council and police had identified a ”number of individuals” found to be ”inappropriately” in the company of the 17-year-old girl.

Lawyers thought that there was not enough evidence to secure criminal convictions – on a beyond reasonable doubt basis – ”at the current time”.

But they thought that there was enough evidence to obtain civil court injunctions – on a balance of probabilities basis.

Miss Meyer said if long-term injunctions were made, and any of the men were found ”in the company of a vulnerable child” by West Midlands Police or Birmingham City Council in breach or orders, then lawyers would ask a judge to impose jail terms for contempt of court.

Mr Justice Keehan heard arguments about the publication of names from police, some of the men and journalists.

The judge ruled that the media should be allowed to identify men who were the subject of full and final injunctions.

“At the current time there can be no greater public interest in these proceedings,” he said.

“There is a high public interest in the public having the right to know what has happened in this case.”

The judge is due to analyse allegations made by the council against other men later today.

Published: Wednesday 19th November 2014 by The News Editor

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