THE DEVASTATED mother of a 15-year-old girl who was raped in Prestwich has said her attackers’ punishment was not strong enough.

The woman was speaking after two men were sent to custody for abusing her daughter in late 2012 and early 2013.

Neither the victim nor her mother can be identified for legal reasons.

When the mother was first made aware of the abuse of her daughter, she discovered to her horror that it had been happening for five months.

The girl, who is now aged 17, went missing from home on January 23, 2013, and her parents reported her disappearance to the police.

She was found the following day at a hotel in Burnley and told police what happened to her.

It emerged that the girl had met Suleman Memon, aged 20, of Windsor Road, Prestwich, at some point in 2012.

On August 20, Memon persuaded her to accompany him back to his home where he raped her in a bedroom.

Then, on January 23, Memon took the girl to the hotel where Hassan Ali, aged 22, of Burton Gardens, Brierfield, Nelson, raped her twice.

Appearing at Bolton Crown Court last year, Memon and Ali admitted rape.

At a sentencing hearing at the same court last week, Judge Peter Davies jailed Ali for three years and six months, ordered him to sign the sex offenders' register indefinitely, and barred from working with children.

Because he was aged 17 at the time of the offence, Memon was ordered to serve 21 months in a young offenders' institution and, upon his release, to observe a curfew for 56 days.

He must sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Reacting to the sentencing, the girl's mother said: "It is just not strong enough. They have changed my daughter's life forever.

"It is something that she will have to live with for the rest of her life and I don't think the punishment goes far enough.

"This has affected our entire family. My daughter is very bright and I believe that she had the potential at school to become a doctor, but what has happened has de-stablised her education and it will be very hard for her to get back to a position in which she can fulfil her potential.

"On one hand, I am glad that the court case is over because this whole ordeal has been going on for almost three years, but to us it isn't true closure.

"My biggest fear is that these men don't learn their lesson."