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Telford abuse murder victim’s daughter in shock after report on paedophile gangs

Posted: 22nd July 2022

A woman who survived a fire started by her dad that killed her pregnant mum, grandmother and aunt speaks out at ‘disgusting and shocking’ failure by authorities to stop rape gangs targeting Telford girls

The daughter of a murdered Telford abuse victim last night revealed her shock at the contents of a bombshell report into the scandal.

Tasnim Lowe, 23, asked: “How can anyone in authority do this when they have their own daughters?”

Tasnim survived a fire set off by dad Azhar Ali Mehmood, then 25, which killed her mum Lucy – 16 and pregnant – her grandmother Eileen, 49, and 17-year-old aunt Sarah.

Then just 16 months old, she only survived because he carried her out of the house and placed her under a tree in the garden.

Mehmood, a cabbie in Telford, was jailed following the fire in August 2000 for a minimum of 18 years for murdering Lucy and her family, and is still behind bars after being denied parole in 2020. But he has never faced sexual abuse charges despite meeting Lucy at 13 and getting her pregnant at 14.

Tasnim said: “The scale of abuse is disgusting and shocking. On my mum, the focus of the authorities was, ‘Why isn’t she in school?’ rather than, ‘Why is this child having babies?’ That’s what shocked me the most. How could you treat a person like that?”

The Sunday Mirror revealed four years ago that Lucy’s murder was one of several deaths linked to a massive child sexual exploitation scandal spanning four decades.

We estimated there could be 1,000 victims in the Shropshire town and were told by the authorities we’d made the scale of abuse up. But inquiry chair Tom Crowther QC this week backed our findings.

He said: “Without the Mirror’s reporting, the truth about Telford would still be buried. It was fundamental in the process which led to this report.”

It found that the triple murder inquiry involving Lucy’s family was given a “raft of evidence” that she was being sexually exploited but officers “failed” her. The report also revealed that the council’s safeguarding team “took a non-interventionist role, and waited for the family to request help or actively seek intervention”.

Yet police in Telford began to receive intelligence about girls being sexually assaulted from 1997 – around the time Lucy met Mehmood. In the months before she died, three files were passed to senior officers involving allegations 24 girls as young as 11 were being gang-raped and sold for sex, but no action was taken.

There was also no evidence that vital child protection procedures were followed by the council in Lucy’s case. Mr Crowther said “a formal assessment of Lucy could have been transformative in this case”. Damningly, he added: “Professionals were sympathetic to Lucy’s parents, but do not appear to be concerned for, or supportive of, Lucy.”

Tasnim said: “The report shows there were many, many times the police or council could have done something. Everything was so obvious. It was right in front of them, and people chose to look away.”

Along with a raft of professionals, Tasnim praised the Sunday Mirror investigation. “I’m so thankful,” she said. “I have found out so much and it’s given me so much closure. If it wasn’t for the Sunday Mirror, I’d have no answers or found out the truth.”

The retired officer who led the probe into the deaths of the Lowe family – DCI Clive Harding – refused to give evidence to the inquiry and did not respond to our requests for comment.

Source: Mirror

Categories: News