64-year-old Tariq Syed, of Pemberton Drive, Little Horton, Bradford, is accused of raping a 13-year-old girl, attacking her mother with a knife, and attempting to bribe them to leave the country.
The jury at Bradford Crown Court was told that Syed befriended the girl’s family and then began to groom her with gifts including clothes and mobile phones, reports The Telegraph and Argus.
Syed is alleged to have posed as a Good Samaritan to the family of poor Romanian migrants, allaying the mother’s suspicions by claiming he was motivated by a desire to help them.
However, when the girl’s mother discovered she had missed school on two occasions in September 2014 and confronted her, she broke down, confessing “the old man” had collected her in his car, locked the doors, driven her to a wooded area, and raped her.
“She was screaming but he said if she did not let him do it, he would kill her and bury her there,” claimed prosecutor Sharon Beattie. He is also alleged to have threatened to burn down the girl’s home.
Syed’s semen was found on the inside of the girl’s school trousers following the alleged assault. Syed claims he gave the trousers to the girl as a gift, and that they were stained with his semen because they had previously belonged to his wife.
Three days after Syed’s arrest, he is said to have confronted the girl’s mother at her place of work, swearing at her, and offering her £15,000 to return to Romania.
The mother said she told him: “Are you not afraid of God because you dishonoured my child?”
Syed is said to have shouted, “I will kill you” and attacked her with a knife, injuring her neck. Syed claimed that, in fact, the mother attacked him.
Beattie described the 64-year-old as expressing “nothing but contempt for the girl’s family”, telling the police the mother “would do anything for money” and could not be trusted.
Syed pleaded not guilty to rape, an alternative charge of sexual activity with a child, perverting the course of justice, and causing the mother actual bodily harm during the alleged knife attack.
The alleged victim has left the UK and is providing evidence via video link. The trial continues.