A Guestling man has been jailed for 14 years for his part in a Sussex sex ring who abused a teenage girl.
Khosrow Sobhanieh, 56, of North Lane, Guestling was found guilty by majority verdict of rape, and attempted rape. He was also found guilty of supplying class A drugs, and was sentenced for a firearms offence not related to the case.
Four men were handed a total of 30 years in prison for their part in a Sussex sex ring, which exploited a vulnerable teenager.
The case was the first of its kind in the county, and Sussex Police described it as a ‘landmark’ case.
Appearing with Sobhanieh, at Hove Trial Centre yesterday, were two Eastbourne men and another from Newhaven, to be sentenced for arranging child prostitution.
Stephen Daramola, 48, of Park Lane, Eastbourne, Christopher Kayla-Joseph, 27, of Elphick Road, Newhaven, Mohammed Kamali, 46, of Wilmington Gardens, Eastbourne were all found guilty of arranging child prostitution.
Daramola, who owns Eastbourne restaurants as well as a nightclub Havanas, was additionally found guilty of supplying class A drugs, and guilty by a majority verdict of sexual assault. He was sentenced to six years in prison.
Kayla-Joseph and Kamali were also found guilty of supplying Class A drugs, and given five years each.
The prosecution followed a 12-month investigation by East Sussex detectives into information that a girl under the age of 18 had been systematically subjected to sexual offences in Newhaven in May and June 2013. The young, impressionable and vulnerable girl’s ordeal started in Eastbourne one evening in May 2013 when she was sitting alone in a street after a family disagreement at her home. Kayla-Joseph spotted her, engaged her in conversation and invited her back to his flat where he had sexual intercourse with her.
Over the next two weeks, Kayla-Joseph and the other men ruthlessly exploited her for their own sexual purposes, plying her with drink and drugs, and cash was paid for her sexual services.
Soon afterwards the girl disclosed what had happened to health workers and to her family. Police were immediately informed and the men were swiftly arrested.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark O’Brien said, “This is a landmark case, sending a clear message that anyone who sets out to exploit vulnerable young people in this way can expect to be subject to investigation, and can be brought to justice.
“We also wish to pay tribute to the girl herself, whose evidence, resolutely given with the help of special measures including a screen protecting her from the defendants’ view, was key in ensuring this outcome.”
Two other men were cleared of all charges and found to be innocent.
Khalid Del-Rosario, 45, of Upperton Road and Giuseppe Carella, 19, of South Coast Road, Peacehaven, were cleared of all the charges against them on Friday, when a jury acquitted them unanimously for arranging child prostitution and supplying class A drugs.
Restaurateur Del Rosario, who runs Rosetto in Carlisle Road, Eastbourne, was emotional when he found out he had been cleared. “It just shows there is still decent people around to be honest,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect. Your life is in twelve people’s hands. I’m happy my name has been cleared, and the name of my restaurant Rosetto needs to be cleared.”