A gang of child abusers is allegedly at large in the city of Hull.
Warning: This article includes graphic content
Sky News has spoken to three young women who have made serious allegations, naming their attackers, and providing documents to back up their stories. Two others have given supporting testimony.
Operation Marksman was wound down after a two-year investigation, with police telling the alleged victims they had exhausted all lines of inquiry.
But in their first TV interviews, the women at the centre of the case say they believe there was enough evidence to take it to court.
Sky News has been examining evidence provided by one young woman called Sarah (not her real name).
It includes photographs of texts from a man threatening to kill her if she does not come immediately and have sex with a number of men.
Sarah says at the age of 13 she was groomed by two men, and after two months one of them raped her.
She told Sky News: "He tried to kiss me, and I was like ‘no get off’, and he was like ‘no, it’s time for you to pay now for all the things we’ve given you’.
"Then he got on top of me and raped me, and I was just a powerless 13-year-old girl. Terrified."
He then took her to a block of flats.
"He’d obviously decided that I was a good enough candidate to take to the next level," she said.
"He introduced me to this other guy and exchanged some money with this other guy, which I’ve later found out I was sold into the sex trade.
"That room, that flat, took my childhood from me.
"I think I was raped by around 150 men over the three-year period, sometimes 10 or 11 men wanted to rape me per day."
Experts say junior members of gangs are sometimes paid to groom girls in this way.
In a spider graph Sarah later made for the police, she identifies 11 key players who came to the flat – the two groomers, the buyer and some of the regular gang members and clients.
She even numbers them and provides photos to help identify some of the men.
She also gave the police a drawing of herself, in which she describes herself as height 4ft 6in, wearing neon pink leggings and a Mickey Mouse t-shirt.
She said: "I was blonde. I had no boobs. I was underdeveloped. I looked young – and that’s what they liked – the younger, the better.
"There were girls as young as primary school (age).
"I’ll never forget that girl that I saw sat there, in her primary school uniform, probably eight or nine years old.
"She was there with her sister, who was a little bit older. I remember her screaming in that bedroom."
Sarah also drew pictures of items in the flat used to intimidate and control, including a Taser, hammer and handcuffs.
She said she was once handcuffed to the radiator and the abuse was sometimes filmed.
"There’s videos out there of me as a 13, 14, 15-year-old little girl being raped by men," she said.
"I’ve seen them. They’ve shown me them. One of the videos is captioned English girl gets f***** against her own will… I was just profit to them."
Now aged 19, Sarah was one of several young women who told Sky News they are disappointed the police investigation has stalled.
She claims that in her early teenage years, she was threatened with being buried alive or set on fire if she did not return regularly to the flat to be raped by the men.
Sky News has seen a text exchange in 2018 involving one of the men – we are referring to as "Man A" – that Sarah photographed on her phone.
Sarah and other victims said the beauty spot Hessle Foreshore was one of the places the men took them to sexually abuse them, but it mostly happened in flats or hotels.
Throughout this investigation, Sky News will be showing the evidence to one of the UK’s leading child exploitation experts.
Speaking about the threatening text, former chief police officer Jim Gamble said: "Number one is he’s committed a criminal offence because that’s a threat to murder, and the Offences Against the Person Act makes that a crime.
"But what you do see there is the coercive control. You see the fact that the predator is so confident in their ability, their level of competence at controlling these young people, that they don’t even try and hide it or mask it."
After looking at a thousand pages of evidence seen by Sky News, Mr Gamble added: "I’d be surprised if they’re not able to pass the evidential threshold… because what you do have is significant levels of corroboration."
By corroboration, he is referring to testimony and evidence of the other young women in this case.
However, Humberside Police say they did not reach the evidence threshold to go to court.
The police arrested 34 suspects and say they did digital searches on 150 devices seized, and that phone records did not provide supporting evidence. They could find no provenance for the threatening text.
Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Dickinson told Sky News: "(With) a text message in relation to a threat, we’ve got to go back and prove where that threat’s come from and that provenance of that threat to get us that evidence that’s unequivocal that we can put before a lawyer and take us forward to court.
"We haven’t got the evidence that takes us to the Full Code Test to get us over that line."
Two other women have told Sky News about allegations against Man A, including one who claims she was also raped by him.
Anna (not her real name) met Sarah because they lived in the same village outside of Hull. One day, Anna contacted Sarah after seeing her number on Man A’s phone.
In a series of texts, the girls admit to each other that they were groomed and raped by him.
Anna then texted a long list of abusers, some of whom Sarah recognised.
Sarah told Sky News: "Anna reported it to the police, and they turned up on my doorstep. She knew what he was like, she knew what he’d done to her."
In the next report, Sky News examines Anna’s dossier of evidence, which includes texts, diaries, school records and pictures of bruising which she claims were caused by the abusers.
Delving into this case does not just expose how one group of women failed to get charges, it perhaps explains why fewer than 2% of reported rape cases end up in court.
You can see Jason Farrell’s special report, Burden of Proof, on Sky News at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 8pm, 9pm on Wednesday on Sky News
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