Two men barred from approaching girls under 18 can be named, court rules

Two men barred from approaching girls under 18 can be named, court rules

Mohammed Anjam and Omar Ahmed identified as subjects of injunctions obtained to protect children from sexual exploitation
  • The Guardian, Wednesday 19 November 2014 14.18 GMT
Birmingham city centre
Two men subject to injunctions by Birmingham council can now be named after appeals from media organisations. Photograph: Pat Savage/Alamy
Two men ordered to stay away from girls after Birmingham social services took “innovative” legal action to protect children who might be victims of sexual exploitation can be identified, a high court judge has ruled.
Mr Justice Keehan said the names of Mohammed Anjam, 31, and Omar Ahmed, 27, could be revealed, despite objections from police, who had raised concerns about the men’s safety.
He made the ruling on Wednesday at a hearing in the family division of the high court in London after the Press Association and Times Newspapers argued that the public had a right to know.
The judge had granted long-term injunctions against the two men earlier this week after social workers and police raised concerns about the welfare of a vulnerable 17-year-old girl who is in the care of Birmingham city council.
He barred the men from approaching the girl until she turned 18, following a public hearing in the family division of the high court in London. The judge also barred them from approaching “any female under 18” in public places with whom they were not personally associated.
Birmingham city council had launched civil court proceedings against 10 men with the aim of protecting youngsters who might not understand what was happening to them, Keehan had been told.
Lorna Meyer QC, for Birmingham city council, said West Midlands police had supported the move.
She said the council and police had identified a number of individuals found to be “inappropriately” in the company of the 17-year-old girl.
Lawyers had thought that there was not enough evidence to secure criminal convictions, on a beyond-reasonable-doubt basis, “at the current time”. But they believed that there was enough evidence to obtain civil court injunctions on a balance-of-probabilities basis.
Meyer said if long-term injunctions were made, and any of the men were found “in the company of a vulnerable child” by West Midlands police or Birmingham council in breach of the orders, then lawyers would ask a judge to impose jail terms for contempt of court.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *