Tuesday 21 June 2011

Men groomed girls with cash, alcohol and car rides, court hears

Comment: More Muslim men engaged in grooming and exploiting non-Muslim girls. This the the result of a patriarchal community which allows men to get away with all kinds of injustices against women. More has to be done to stamp this out.

Seven teenage girls – one as young as 13 – were groomed into child prostitution with offers of alcohol, drink and cash by nine men in a sex-trafficking ring which centred around a small Shropshire town, a court has heard.

Some of the girls were sold on to other men to be abused, and one 15-year-old girl was plied with drink, drugs and cigarettes to persuade her to have sex with others as a "favour" to her "pimps", the prosecution said.

Staffordshire crown court was told that many of the girls involved believed themselves "to be loved and in love" with the men.

On the opening day of the trial of the nine men, the jury was told the rape, trafficking and sexual abuse centred around the small town of Wellington, near Telford.

The men – who are aged between 21 and 59 and include three brothers – face a total of 55 charges including rape, child prostition, sexual activity with a child and trafficking children within the UK.

"This case is about exploitation," said Debbi Gould, prosecuting. "The Crown say that the men in the dock variously trafficked, raped or sexually abused girls both over and under the age of 16 years over a considerable period of time."

Three of the men, brothers Ahdel Ali, 23; Mubarek Ali, 28; and Tanveer Ahmed, 39; are accused of acting as "pimps" and exploited their victims. Others, including Abdul Rouf, 34, and the oldest defendant Mohammed Younis, 59, used their homes as brothels to allow men to engage in sexual activities with the girls, the court heard.

Jurors were told the men enticed the girls with offers of car rides, employment and cash, before grooming and exploiting them either for their own sexual gratification or to earn money.

Some treated them as sexual commodities to be sold or gifted, the court heard.

Two girls, who cannot be named, were "slowly but surely" persuaded by the brothers through a combination of attention, gifts, encouragement, pressure and guilt to have sexual activity with others for their benefit, Gould told the court.

"Having established that their victims were prepared to accommodate that to please them, the next logical step was to encourage them to do this for payment," she told the jury.

"Pimps, for that is what the Crown says that Ahdel Ali, Mubarek Ali and Tanveer Ahmed are, identified and then exploited their victims' need for attention and protection."

The brothers allegedly used one girl as a child prostitute and transported her to different locations to meet men, assisted by Noshad Hussain, 20.

The court heard they would ply the 15-year-old with drink, cannabis and cigarettes and encourage her to have sex with others as a "favour" to them.

On one occasion, she was allegedly driven to a park in Stoke-on-Trent to meet a man from Bradford to perform oral sex.

"They sold her as a sexual object to others," Gould said. "She was acting as a child prostitute, they were controlling and organising her activities ... and transporting her to different locations in order that she could undertake these activities."

The court heard that two of the girls were groomed in a churchyard in Telford where young Asian males congregated to drink and smoke.

One 15-year-old is alleged to have performed oral sex on Mohammed Ali Sultan, 24, on three occasions.

The jury members were warned that what they were likely to be distressed by some of the evidence in the case.

"You will neither like nor be impressed by the behaviour, attitudes and morals of some of the defendants in this case, most of whom are married men," said Gould.

"The Crown says that just as the defence will accuse the girls of telling lies, so too have the defendants lied.

"Don't be bamboozled, don't be confused and don't be misled. The psychology of abuse and our understanding of it has greatly changed in recent years."

Ahdel Ali, 23; Mubarek Ali, 28; Tanveer Ahmed, 39; Mohammed Ali Sultan, 24; Noshad Hussain, 21; Mohammed Islam Choudrey, 52; Marhoof Khan, 33; Mohammed Younis, 59; and Abdul Rouf, 34; deny all the charges against them.

The case continues.


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