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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 October 2005, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK
Sex trade gang 'beggared belief'
Sex traffickers Axhami, Kizlaite and Beqirat
The three defendants were convicted of sex trafficking
Three people have been jailed for up to 21 years after being convicted of trafficking women into the UK and forcing them to work in brothels.

The three had transported the women around "like cattle", Judge Trevor Barber told Sheffield Crown Court.

Tasim Axhami, from Kosovo, Albanian Emilijan Beqirat, both 18, and Lithuanian Vilma Kizlaite, 20, all lived in Sheffield.

Axhami, also convicted of rape, got 21 years, Beqirat 16 and Kizlaite 11.

Beqirat and Kizlaite both lived on Burngreave Road, Sheffield while Axhami lived on Brunswick Road in the city.

The treatment those two girls suffered at the men's hands just didn't bear thinking about
Judge Trevor Barber

Sentencing, Judge Barber said: "Their behaviour absolutely beggared belief, they had taken two young Lithuanian girls and transported them to Sheffield like cattle before putting them into a life of forced prostitution.

"The treatment those two girls suffered at the men's hands just didn't bear thinking about.

"The men had no moral scruples or compassion."

After the case temporary Det Insp Scott Green of South Yorkshire Police said although the sentences were long, they were warranted: "I think they were justified, and I think it sends out a very clear message that sexual trafficking will not be tolerated.

"The judge described the fact that the two girls were moved around the UK like cattle. While they are very long sentences we welcome them."

The defendants faced a total of 13 counts during the case.

All three were convicted of trafficking the women and of sex trafficking charges.

They were all convicted of false imprisonment but Kizlaite was acquitted on the charge of forcing a woman into sexual activity.

Axhami was convicted on three counts of rape and all three were convicted of causing female sexual activity without consent.

Beqirat and Kizlaite were also convicted of controlling prostitutes for gain.

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