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A MAN convicted of child sexual assault said his human rights will be under threat if he is deported to Pakistan as he had “not committed that big a crime”.

Adil Khan, 51, a member of the Rochdale child sex abuse ring, told an immigration tribunal hearing on Tuesday (8) that he renounced his Pakistani citizenship in September 2018 and said he would be “stateless” if he was deported to that country.

Khan and Qari Abdul Rauf, 52 were among four of a gang whose members had dual UK-Pakistani citizenship and could therefore be stripped of their citizenship and deported.

Then home secretary Theresa May ruled it would be “conducive to the public good” to deprive the four of the right to remain in the UK.

Khan, Rauf and a third man, Abdul Aziz, fought and lost a long legal battle against the deprivation order, losing a final Court of Appeal ruling in 2018.

Khan’s reasons for appealing his deportation came on the grounds of his right to a private and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Khan said, “The journalists have made our lives a living hell. We are not that big a criminal. We have not committed that big a crime. I’m innocent.”

Khan, Rauf and two others were among nine men convicted of sex offences against girls in 2012. Police said as many as 47 girls were sexually assaulted.

The failure to deport any of the four, almost a decade after their convictions, has led to anger in Rochdale, where some of the abused girls continue to live alongside their abusers, media reports said.

Girl A, the main victim of the child sex abuse, who is now 28 told The Sun, “We were told they would be kicked out of the country.

“Knowing that had been done would have been a huge help for all of us in trying to rebuild our lives. But instead we’re still haunted by the paedophiles who raped and trafficked us. Every day we run the risk of bumping into them.”

Former police officer Maggie Oliver, 65, who quit the Greater Manchester Police over its lack of action over the scandal, said the sight of Rauf ‘made her blood boil’.

“The victims have been treated disgracefully and he is carrying on as if he’s done nothing wrong. The public and the victims see the criminal justice system failing them. Sadly, it does not surprise me he hasn’t been deported,” The Daily Mail quoted Oliver as saying.

Khan was sentenced to eight years in 2012 on the charges of getting a 13-year-old girl pregnant and trafficking another 15-year-old girl to others. Four years later he was released on licence.

Rauf was jailed for six years for trafficking a 15-year-old girl for sex. He was released in November 2014 after serving two years and six months of his sentence.

A further deportation hearing involving both Khan and Rauf is scheduled for July 1.