A Huddersfield man has been jailed for more than four years after becoming the latest defendant to be sentenced as part of a major investigation into child sexual exploitation in the town.

Manzoor Akhtar (31) from Crosland Moor in Huddersfield was sentenced to four years, six months at Leeds Crown Court on April 22 after being found guilty of raping a young girl between 2005-2006.

Manzoor Akhtar

Akhtar became the latest man to be convicted as part of West Yorkshire Police’s multi part Operation Tendersea investigation into the sexual abuse of young girls in Huddersfield between 1995 and 2011.

During proceedings, the court heard he subjected his victim to sexual assault when she was between 13-14 years old.

Meanwhile, on April 22 another man was also jailed for 12 months in a separate criminal case, also investigated as part of the wider Operation Tendersea enquiry.

Shaqeel Hussain (36) of Spen Valley Road, Dewsbury pleaded guilty to an indecent assault committed in Huddersfield between 2004 and 2005 on a 16-year-old girl.

In a previous Operation Tendersea  trial in February 2020,  relating to the sexual abuse of two girls in the Huddersfield area between 1995 and 2011, Hussain was jailed for eight years for the rape of a 14 year old girl.   He was told he must serve the 12 months consecutive to the eight year term he is currently serving.

The latest convictions mean a total of 35 men have now been sentenced as part of Operation Tendersea with combined sentences totalling in excess of 380 years being given by the courts to those appearing before them.

Commenting on the conviction of Manzoor Akhtar, Detective Chief Inspector Richard McNamara of the Kirklees District CID, said: “Akhtar richly deserves the prison sentence he has been given after being found guilty and convicted for the dreadful sexual abuse of this young victim.

“He thought nothing of this girl’s obvious very young age as he raped her and treated her in a fashion which can only be described as callous in the extreme.”

DCI McNamara said he was also pleased that the force was now able to name Shaqeel Hussain.

He said:  “Hussain was convicted for rape in an Operation Tendersea trial in February 2020 but at the time we were not able to release his identity.  He has now been sentenced after pleading guilty to an indecent assault on a 16 year old victim, and can be named as reporting restrictions have been lifted.

“He will face a total of nine years in prison in total for both of these depraved offences in which he showed no regard whatsoever for his victims.

He added: “A repeated feature of these cases has been the stunning bravery of the now young women who have come forward to tell us about the abuse they suffered and then doing everything they can to support the police and CPS in taking action against those who abused them.

“The courage of victims is helping us take dangerous predators such as Manzoor Akhtar and Shaqeel Hussain off our streets, show them for what they are, and put them behind bars where they belong.”