Two men, branded as ‘utterly evil’ by a Crown Court judge last week have been sentenced to more than 50 years in prison for crimes described as ‘chilling, terrifying and callous’.
21-year-old Hasnain Raja, and 28-year-old Najeeb Aslam, both from Bradford, were sentenced at the city’s Crown Court after a string of raids, targeted at women, children and the elderly.
The pair were twice involved in a sickening raid on family homes in Bradford which saw naked images of children and their mothers taken which would later be used in blackmail attempts. Phone calls were made to the families following the incidents, demanding tens of thousands of pounds be handed over or the images would be distributed online.
Other extremely serious crimes included threatening to throw babies ‘out of the window’ and beatings of children as young as two-years-old, as the pair continued to demand cash and items of value from the homes targeted.
An elderly couple was also tied up with cable ties in their family home as the two robbers stole more than £25,000 worth of jewellery and cash.
Richard Wright QC, for Raja, conceded the offences were wicked, but said he was of a young age, had pleaded guilty and had done what he could to make amends. Peter Moulson QC, for Aslam, added that he had no previous convictions and had pleaded guilty.
Speaking during the trial, Judge Durham Hall QC said: “It was evil, utterly evil, and that’s what you are.
“You preyed deliberately on the most decent examples of a very decent community.
“You caused terror and shame and desperate fear in each case. Those victims have been hurt for life.”
One victim of the ‘evil’ pair, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Asian Express that she was relieved that the two men were now behind bars.
“I was one of the victims and I feel disgusted by these sick individuals as do all the community,” she said. “They are worse than animals because to call them animals would be an insult to animals.
“I would like to thank the police in apprehending the evil pair and the ground breaking techniques they were able to use, to capture them.
“Their crimes were so sick in which they completely destroyed and changed their victim’s lives. The judge took this into account when he sentenced them. The length of their sentences is unprecedented.
“It is rare a criminal gets 27 years for murder and this reflects the seriousness of the offences.”