Northumbria Police Chief Constable Steve Ashman said in a statement today: 'To date we have arrested 461 people, spoken to 703 potential complainants and have found 278 victims.'In total we now have 93 convictions delivering more than 300 years of imprisonment in addition to today's convictions.'He added: 'Many of us will never understand the traumatic experience some of these women and girls have endured and they have my wholehearted commitment that, together with our partners, we will continue to provide them with all the support they need.Northumbria Police deployed the man, who can be identified only as XY, to infiltrate the gangs who were hosting parties where underage girls were attacked and plied with drugs.The use of the informant was roundly criticised in court by defence teams who said it was 'misconduct' and 'bad faith' and claimed the proceedings should have been stopped to 'protect the integrity of the criminal justice system'.The girl was a frequent runaway who would regularly go missing.Mr Elvidge said: 'The young women are now in their early 20s.Shocking details of a large-scale Asian sex gang who spent four years plying vulnerable young girls with drink and drugs at 'sex parties' in Newcastle can be revealed for the first time today.A total of 17 men and one woman have been convicted of, or have admitted, charges including rape, supplying drugs and inciting prostitution, in a series of trials at Newcastle Crown Court.
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Older men preyed on immature teenagers who were plied with cocaine, cannabis, alcohol or mephedrone (M-Cat), then raped or persuaded into having sexual activity at parties known as 'sessions'.
The case has raised huge controversy after a convicted rapist was paid almost £10,000 of taxpayers' money to spy on parties where under-age girls were intoxicated and sexually abused.
She spoke of how she would be picked up in a Mercedes from the children's home where she was living and taken to flats in Newcastle to be used by anyone who wanted her.
Prosecutor John Elvedge QC told the court how during one attack she was high on cocaine while men took turns to have sex with her. The man who brought the Mcat had sex with her when she was in no position to consent.'The second man was followed by several others, all taking advantage of her.'She said it was like a relay race, one man after another, each having sexual intercourse with her to which she did not consent.'On another occasion, the girl was taken to a party at a flat where there was a group of seven men in a room with a Kurdish flag on the wall and was given Mcat, the court heard.