Eddy Shah 'raped schoolgirl in hotel rooms'

Eddy Shah
Image caption Eddy Shah owned the now defunct Today newspaper in the 1980s

Former newspaper owner Eddy Shah had sex with a schoolgirl in various hotel rooms, a court has been told.

Mr Shah, now 69, engaged in sexual acts with the teenager alongside prostitute Susan Davies, who took the girl to meet him, the Old Bailey heard.

The abuse took place in the early 1990s but the girl waited about 20 years to tell police, the jury heard.

Mr Shah, Ms Davies and her ex-partner Anthony Pallant deny indecent assault, rape, child cruelty and other charges.

Gillian Etherton, QC, prosecuting, said Ms Davies was "bullying and controlling" towards the schoolgirl.

"She is a woman of few moral scruples," Miss Etherton said.

'Became robotic'

The complainant told police she was taken by Ms Davies to a hotel to meet Mr Shah when she was 14.

The girl was warned to do what she was told, the court heard.

"Thereafter, and always in hotels, sexual acts took place between Eddy Shah, Susan Davies and the girl," said Miss Etherton.

"She said she had to deal with it so she became robotic."

The girl said the last time she had sex with Mr Shah was when she was 15, the jury was told.

'Bargaining object'

Miss Etherton said Ms Davies had an affair with Mr Pallant and had become "obsessed" with him.

She had allegedly used the girl as a "bargaining object" to maintain her affair.

Mr Shah, of Chippenham, Wiltshire, denies six counts of raping a girl under 16.

Anthony Pallant, 53, of West Malling, Kent, denies six counts of rape and indecent assault.

Susan Davies, 53, of Swanley, Kent, denies 14 charges including aiding and abetting rape, indecent assault and child cruelty.

Mr Shah founded the now-defunct Today newspaper in 1986. He now owns and runs golf courses, leisure centres and hotels.

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