The harrowing BBC drama Three Girls is, tragically, based on a true story.
The three-part series is based on the true stories of victims of grooming and sexual abuse in Rochdale.
It was uncovered after police were sent to a report of a teenager smashing up a glass chiller at the Balti House takeaway in Heywood in August 2008.
Initially officers dismissed it as vandalism - but when the suspect, a skinny 15 year old girl, was arrested and taken to the station, she revealed over a six hour interview just why she had done it.
She was being raped. Not just once - but repeatedly - by a gang of men who would ply her with vodka and threaten her with violence unless she succumbed to horrific abuse.
She was being shared around paedophiles across the north of England.
And more than that, she was among a band of white girls who were being specifically targeted by a gang of largely Pakistani-heritage men because, as the trial judge would later acknowledge, the men’s victims were ‘not of your community or religion’, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Her act of pent-up frustration in the takeaway - followed by her bravery in speaking out - was the first step, a key moment that would lead to questions about the part which racial identity played in sexual grooming of children in the town and in other places up and down the country.
The uncomfortable truth would eventually come out despite the botched original police investigation which concluded the girl, who would later become the prosecution’s star witness, was ‘not credible’.
Back in the police station, the girl who had just vandalised the takeaway provided a detailed account of the abuse and the perpetrators as well as evidence in the form of her underwear, which carried traces of one of her attackers' DNA.
Two members of the grooming gang – ringleader Shabir Ahmed, and Kabeer Hussain - were arrested and released on bail.
But the investigation was dismissed by one officer on the case as a car crash.
Officers on the Rochdale division were under pressure at the time to hit ‘volume crime’ targets like bringing down the number of burglaries and were overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the grooming problem they had uncovered.
Lack of resource, and also the fact that their bosses seemed reluctant to grasp the nettle for fear of being branded racist, contributed to delays in the investigation.
It took police 11 months to compile a file of evidence for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) – after interviewing the young victim from the takeaway on four separate occasions.
In July 2009, a CPS lawyer ruled the victim was ‘not credible’ and decided the two men who raped her should be released without charge.
Later, Rochdale sexual health worker Sara Rowbotham told an inquiry all the girls had been ‘treated appallingly by protective services’.
She said: "It was absolute disrespect that vulnerable young people did not have a voice. They were overlooked, they were discriminated against."
In other words, victims of horrific abuse had been ignored until one of them - the girl who smashed up the takeaway - finally made her story heard.
Ten months after the case was dropped, police decided to revisit it as more complaints emerged.
Critics say the delays meant more girls were left to be abused while the criminal justice system slowly changed its course.
A new investigation, dubbed Operation Span, was launched. A key member of the team was Det Cons Maggie Oliver whose task was to convince the victims to speak to the police.
Nazir Afzal, the newly-appointed chief crown prosecutor for the north west, reversed the decision not to prosecute the two who had been arrested and eventually authorised the charging of ten men in June 2011. A much bigger case had been built but, importantly, he simply believed his star witness.
Following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court, nine men were convicted in May 2012.
Jailing them, Judge Gerald Clifton said: “You have all been convicted by the jury after a long trial of grave sexual offences which were committed between the spring of 2008 and 2010.
“These involved the grooming and sexual exploitation of several girls, aged in their early teens.
“In some cases those girls were raped, callously, viciously and violently.
“Some of you acted as you did to satiate your lust, some of you to make money, all of you treated them as though they were worthless and beyond respect.”
In subsequent cases, the racial and religious background of perpetrators have been exploited by some - but there have also been accusations that authorities were slow to act on concerns for fear of being dubbed racist.
In this case the judge did indicate his belief that the Rochdale gang had deliberately sought victims outside their own community.
Tellingly, he added: “I believe that one of the factors that led to that was that they were not of your community or religion. Indeed one witness, said in the course of the trial that he did not wish to be seen with young white girls in his community in Oldham.”
After the trial’s conclusion, there were public apologies from the police, the council and prosecutors for failing the victims.
Inquiries of various forms - both public and internal - ensued and continue even today in the form of the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse, which is examining whether authorities across the country took the problem seriously.
But it’s worth remembering none of it would be happening without a frightened, angry girl who was being raped venting her rage in a takeaway in Heywood.