MEMBERS of a grooming gang have racked up legal aid bills of more than £2million.
And the cost to taxpayers is set to soar further as the abusers launch new deportation appeals.
Last month, we revealed Rochdale child sex ringleader Qari Abdul Rauf was spotted buying food at shops on the streets where he trafficked underage girls for sex.
That is despite him being warned he would be booted out of Britain six years ago.
Now new figures released to The Sun on Sunday show the legal aid bill for the nine abusers has reached £2,025,363.
Rauf and fellow sex abuser Adil Khan will launch new legal bids next month to dodge deportation to Pakistan.
Rauf, 51, a taxi driver, was jailed for six years in 2012 for his part in the scandal, in which dozens of girls as young as 13 were assaulted or raped.
He was freed on licence in November 2014, two years and six months into his sentence.
Khan, 51, sentenced to eight years, was released in 2016.
David Spencer, of the Centre for Crime Prevention, said: “The legal aid system was not designed to let convicted criminals run up huge taxpayer-funded bills to exhaust every possible avenue to dodge justice and avoid deportation.”
The Legal Aid Agency said: “These criminals did not receive a penny. It went to lawyers so they faced justice.”
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