A Muslim leader from Leeds today called on Britain's Asian communities to face up to the evil actions of the sex offenders and street grooming gangs living in their midst.

Qari Asim, imam at the Makkah Mosque in Hyde Park, said the problem was bringing "shame on their religion" and urged more people to start speaking out against the abusers.

Mr Asim's comments came after a total of 17 men and one woman admitted or were convicted of charges including rape, supplying drugs and inciting prostitution in a series of trials at Newcastle Crown Court.

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