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Child sexual abuse investigation results in prison sentences for 24 men

By Sally Smith

Published In: Child Abuse, Child Abuse - Grooming Gangs

On 26 April 2024 a total of 24 men were sentenced to terms of imprisonment of nearly 350 years for historic sexual abuse and other offences as part of the West Yorkshire Police investigation: Operation Tourway.  Another man was subject to a Hospital Order.

Police in high vis jackets

There were 5 trials relating to the men which took place over 2 years between 2022 and 2024 but which have been reported now for the first time due to reporting restrictions which were in place. The prosecutions relate to offences carried out in Dewsbury and the surrounding area, between 1999 and 2012. 

The offences included rapes, indecent assaults, trafficking, and sexual activity with a child.  One of the offenders, Zafar Qayum (44), was sentenced to a period of imprisonment exceeding 30 years and another 10 men received lengthy sentences of 15 years or more.  West Yorkshire Police has described the “unbelievably callous and degrading way in which [the men] treated these then young girls”. 

Full details of the offenders and their individual sentences can be found on the police website

Operation Tourway, as a whole, has led to at least 32 men being charged in relation to more than 150 serious sexual offences against 8 complainants. It involves offences against female victims, who were aged between 13 and 16 years at the time of the alleged offences.

The investigation forms part of a larger investigation of crimes of Child Sexual Exploitation (“CSE”) in West Yorkshire including: Operation Dalesway which relates to CSE crimes in the Bradford area, Operation Teeford which, like Operation Tourway, relates to the Dewsbury and Batley area, and Operation Tendersea which encompasses offences committed in the Huddersfield area of Kirklees between 2004 and 2011.  More details about the West Yorkshire investigations can be found here .

Unfortunately, these sorts of offences are by no means confined to West Yorkshire, and here in the Child Abuse Department at Switalskis we are dealing with similar cases from across the country including Rotherham, Oldham, Cumbria, and many more. 

If you or anyone you know has been affected by this sort of abuse in West Yorkshire or elsewhere and would like to discuss the possibility of bringing a civil action, confidentially, then please contact us today. Call 0800 138 4700  or email


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Sally has 23 years experience in the legal sector.  She qualified as a solicitor in 2002.

Associate Solicitor

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