Huddersfield: Alleged Groomers ‘Drugged, Raped and Trafficked’ Girl from Age of 11

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A young girl living at a children’s home in Huddersfield was “deliberately targeted” for years of sexual abuse by Mohammed Akram and Usman Khalid, a jury has heard.

The “extremely vulnerable” victim “could properly be described as a little girl” when Huddersfield residents Akram, 33, and Khalid, 31, began grooming her to be raped and abused throughout her childhood, the prosecution alleged.

“They each, on separate occasions, took her out of the children’s home where she was living without permission and with a sinister, ultimately sexually motivated, purpose,” prosecutor Richard Wright QC claimed in Leeds Crown Court.

Jurors heard how, after she was allegedly targeted by the defendants in the West Yorkshire town, the girl “found herself drawn into a world in which she had little or no control of her life and was utterly unable to make truly free or informed choices about anything where sex was concerned”.

“Throughout her childhood she was deliberately targeted by men who wanted to use her for their own sexual purposes,” said Mr Wright, stressing that “This case concerns her childhood when, as you will hear — and it is important that you understand that there is no dispute about this — she was raped and abused by multiple men over several years.”

On one occasion, when she was 12 years old, the girl was said to have been taken at midnight by the defendants out of a takeaway in a taxi, where she was plied with alcohol and as many as 10 ecstasy pills before waking up hours later on a mattress in a flat in Huddersfield with no clothes on, the court heard.

According to reporting on the case by local media, the victim — who gave evidence in court from behind a curtain — alleged she was subjected to weeks of rape and violence at a time in the period of abuse, which dated back to 2004 according to the allegations.

Aged 15, she said she was locked inside a property in Huddersfield for more than a month, and not allowed to leave, while the situation “just got out of hand [as] more people and more drugs got brought to the house”.

Mr Wright told jurors: “The sad truth is that [the victim] was, at the time of these offences, alone in the world. Her mother was a hopeless addict who was utterly unable or unwilling to care for her.

“Instead she fended for herself on the streets, in pubs, in taxi offices and in takeaway shops.

“Living by her wits and befriending men in the hope that they might feed her, or care for her, but as you will hear that was the last thing they did.”

Accused of several offences including rape, abducting a child, sexual assault, and trafficking for exploitation, Akram, of Springdale Street, Huddersfield, and Khalid, of Brook Street, both pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.

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