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Daily produces 31 pages on sex grooming verdicts

A regional daily produced 31 pages of coverage including a special supplement after a gang of men were convicted of grooming and raping vulnerable children.

The Oxford Mail produced a 24-page supplement and seven pages of news coverage about the Bullfinch trial which saw seven members of the gang found guilty on Tuesday.

The supplement included reports on the abusers, victims, police investigation, impact on the community and lessons learned from the case.

The Mail has also created a dedicated section on its website on the case and has updated a live blog throughout the four-month trial.

In a comment piece, editor-in-chief Simon O’Neill wrote: “We make no apology for bringing you extensive coverage of the Bullfinch trial’s conclusion today.

“The crimes outlined so graphically at the Old Bailey over the past 18 weeks were despicable and depraved, so much so that even hardened police officers and journalists were left deeply shocked by some of the evidence.

“Indeed, some of the things the seven guilty men did to their six young victims were so revolting they could not be repeated in a family newspaper.

“These sort of crimes are not supposed to happen in Oxford. But they have. Vulnerable young girls should be protected by the multiple agencies charged with doing so. But they were not.

“So today we must face the horrible reality of what has taken place in our midst, ask tough questions of our police, social services, care home system and even ourselves, and debate without prejudice if the backgrounds of the perpetrators is an issue.

“Then we must ensure that it never happens again, here or anywhere else.”

He tweeted on Tuesday evening: “We have 31 pages of reports and reaction to Bullfinch trial tomorrow.

“Bullfinch coverage wrapped, for better or worse. I am very lucky to work with so many dedicated, talented people.”

The gang were found guilty at the Old Bailey of 59 charges, included child rape, sex trafficking, serious sexual assault, and arranging child prostitution.

The offences were committed against six girls aged between 11 and 15 from 2004 to 2011 who were drugged and suffered sadistic abuse.

Those found guilty were Kamar Jamil, Akhtar Dogar, Anjum Dogar, Assad Hussain, Mohammed Karrar, Bassam Karrar and Zeeshan Ahmed, while two others were found not guilty.

They are due to be sentenced on 26 June.