The trial of nine Asian men who were jailed for grooming young white girls for sex may have been "improperly influenced" by far-right groups, it has been claimed.

The gang received jail sentences yesterday of between four and 19 years – with a combined total of 77 years – from a judge who said they treated their victims "as though they were worthless and beyond any respect".

In comments which appeared to conflict with police insistence that there was no "racial or cultural" element to the crimes, Judge Gerald Clifton added: "One of the factors leading to that was the fact that they were not part of your community or religion."

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