Grooming Gang ‘Raped’, ‘Gave Drugs, Alcohol’ to Foster Care Home Runaways

female victim

Two “vulnerable” 14-year-old girls who were living in a care home were groomed, given drugs and alcohol, and were raped over a two-year period by a gang of ten men, a court has heard.

Opening the prosecutor’s case at Bradford Crown Court, Kama Melly QC told the jury that both girls were in the care of the state at the time, describing them as “sadly ripe and vulnerable to manipulation”.

“Girls in care don’t always see the exploitation and manipulation but that does not mean the exploitation was not occurring,” Ms. Melly added.

The prosecution alleged that one victim had run away from the home with a female friend, both aged 14, and were then approached by one of the defendants in a car who began grooming them for sex, reports the Telegraph & Argus.

Ms. Melly then detailed that one girl was taken to meet other men who used “fear” and “manipulation” to “satisfy their sexual desires”.

The following charges relate to alleged abuse committed between July 2009 and July 2011:

  • Saeed Akhtar, 54, Bradford, denies two charges of causing or inciting child prostitution and one charge of rape.
  • Naveed Akhtar, 42, Bradford, denies three charges of rape.
  • Izar Hussain, 31, Bradford, denies three charges of rape, and an additional allegation of attempted rape.
  • Mohammed Usman, 30, Bradford, pleaded not guilty to two charges of rape.
  • Kieran Harris, 27, Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury, pleaded not guilty to two charges of rape.
  • Yasar Majid, 36, Milton Keynes, denies a single charge of rape.
  • Fahim Iqbal, 27, of no fixed abode, pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting rape.
  • Zeeshan Ali, 31, Bradford, denies a single charge of sexual assault.
  • Parvaze Ahmed, 35, Bradford, denies three charges of rape.
  • Basharat Khaliq, 37, Bradford, denies assault by penetration and five charges of rape.

The case only came to court after one of the alleged victims watched a programme, years after the alleged abuse took place, which was related to the Rotherham abuse scandal where Muslim, Pakistani-heritage men groomed and sexually abused more than 1,500 mainly white girls.

The now young woman then asked her boyfriend to call the BBC Look North television studio where her details were taken and passed onto police, after which an investigation was launched.

Ms Melly told the court: “Frustrated at the lack of coverage… her partner contacted Look North, telling them the abuse was ‘much wider than Rotherham’.”

Speaking to the jury on Wednesday, the young woman said that she and her friend had repeatedly been given drugs and alcohol by the men and that they were often picked up by car, sometimes taken to a house in Bradford.

The prosecution told the court that police has spoken to one of the alleged victims as part of Operation Kellerabbey, a child abuse investigation centred around Keighley, West Yorkshire.

Ms Melly said: “The victim could not give relevant information to the operation, however, she explained her own experience of growing up. She told them she had been given alcohol and drugs and had become an addict.”

The prosecutor went on to say that the police did nothing to help the alleged victim until her boyfriend called the television studio years later.

The jury was also told that at the time of the alleged abuse, the home’s workers were worried about the girls when they ran away, but apparently could do nothing as it was not a closed facility.

One worker raised concerns about the defendant Khaliq, but was “told by managers he could not describe him as an abuser”.

The trial continues.

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