Three men involved in an Asian child sex gang who preyed on a schoolgirl they had drugged with cannabis and heroin, started jail terms on Saturday after being convicted of crimes carried out in High Wycombe, Aylesbury and Wendover, years previously.

A judge jailed them for up to 19 years after hearing a heart-rending victim impact statement from the victim who is now a 32-year-old who suffers from alcohol addiction and depression.  

The jury had convicted one man of grooming and two other men of raping a girl in her teenage years. They were each sentenced to serve up to 19 years in prison.

The now adult child, who the court heard was "desperate for love" after being alienated from her family, was introduced to hard drugs and convinced to have sex with strangers in High Wycombe, Wendover and Aylesbury, as payment.

Over the course of one year or more, a taxi driver would pick the 15-year-old girl up at her school and take her to a rented flat, where her body would be sold to up to eight adult men almost every night.

When she approached the police in fear that her life was in danger, she was turned away and told she "needed more evidence" and said she felt like officers were asking her to be sexually assaulted again to get proof.

Judge Johanna Cutts, sitting at Reading Crown Court, heard that the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was first introduced to the perpetrators at the early age of 13 years, when taxi driver Berkley John picked her up and preyed on her vulnerability.

The court was told that defendant John, from Aylesbury, who was aged in his late 50s at the time and was a stranger to the victim, told her he loved her and said he wanted to marry her when she turned 16.

He then took her to his friend Saeed Ahmed's flat in Aylesbury where they introduced her to cannabis and, as she became addicted over time, John started making her perform oral sex on him as payment.

The abuse became more serious when John started giving her heroin and forced her to have sex with him and others in Ahmed's flat. While Ahmed, aged 51, was aware of the purpose for which his flat was being used, he did not partake in the sexual activities, the court heard.

At the beginning of 2001, just before the victim had her 16th birthday, she had stood up to one of his friends, 59-year-old Mohammad Aslam, also from Aylesbury and refused him sex.

Judge Cutts heard that Aslam knew the victim was underage as she would wear her school uniform to their encounters and was often driven back to school.

As Aslam approached her, the victim had refused to have sex with him and he reacted aggressively and raped her.

Addressing Aslam before sentencing all three defendants, Judge Cutts said he had showed the victim his true colours when he had hurt her and forced her to have sex with him, even after she told him to stop.

"You were very clear that you only wanted a child to have sexual intercourse with, as you told her you were no longer interested when she had turned 16," said Judge Cutts, who added that the men had committed an "inexcusable" crime that left their victim changed forever.

"The victim has tremendous strength and courage, I can only hope that now the jury has shown they believed her, she can lead a normal life."

In a victim impact statement read out in court by prosecution counsel, Helena Duong, the victim said John saw her as a lost child he could pick on.

"No matter how many times you say to me that there is no such thing as a child prostitute, I still feel that was what I was," the victim said in her statement.

"I would spend my time out of school with these monsters. Heroin was fed to me by this man. He gave me heroin so that they could do whatever they wanted to me.

"They will never be able to take back what they have done to me. They turned me into someone who the only thing I am good for is selling my body. I was a child that was turned into an adult in a little child's body," she added in the statement.

The victim said that she still suffered from severe depression and alcohol addiction, which had caused her to lose her children.

While presenting his defence evidence at a previous hearing, John, who is now 76 years old, had reportedly apologised to the victim, despite denying the charges when the trial had begun.

In mitigation, John's defence counsel John Swain, said that considering his old age and heart problems, any extended prison sentence was likely to last for the rest of his life.

He had claimed that it would be impossible to determine the facts in the victim's case, as it had been reported by police that she had falsely accused other men of raping her while she was a teenager and had suffered from hallucinations in the past due to her mental illness.

"Clearly he (John) was someone who could have been tried 20 years ago," he said.

"But his ability to serve a prison sentence has been seriously affected by the passage of time."

Aslam's defence barrister, Lesley Manley, said that the father-of-six had broken down and confessed what he had done to his wife in 2006 but that his family and Mosque had chosen to support him.

"He wants to apologise to everyone he has harmed - the victim, his wife and his children," she said.

John was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to rape a girl under the age of 16; two counts of raping a girl under the age of 16 and one count of conspiracy to indecently assault a girl under the age of 16, and sentenced to 15 and a half years in prison.

Aslam, from Aylesbury, was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to rape a girl under the age of 16, four counts of raping a girl under the age of 16, and one count conspiracy to indecently assault a girl under the age of 16. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Ahmed, from Luton, was convicted of allowing his premises to be used for unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl aged between 13 and 15, and procuring a female under the age of 21 to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a third person, and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

All three men were arrested in December 2015, two years after Thames Valley Police approached the victim and asked if she would like to reopen the investigation, the judge said.

All sentences will take effect immediately and John and Aslam will be registered sex offenders and restricted by a sexual offence prevention order for the rest of their lives.