Men 'plied girls with drink and drugs for sex'

Top row l-r: Abdul Rauf Kabeer Hassan and Abdul Qayyum. Bottom row l-r: Liaquat Shah, Qamar Shahzad, Mohammed Amin and Mohammed Sajid
Image caption Seven of the men arrived at Liverpool Crown Court for the start of the trial on Tuesday, the four others are in custody

A group of 11 men plied girls as young as 13 with drink and drugs so they could use them for sex, a court has heard.

The offences are said to have happened in and around Rochdale, Greater Manchester, in 2008 and 2009.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how the men, aged between 22 and 59 and from Oldham and Rochdale, "acted together to sexually exploit the girls".

All deny conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child under 16.

Rachel Smith, opening the case for the prosecution, said one 13-year-old fell pregnant to one of the defendants and had an abortion.

She said another girl felt flattered by the attention but that she quickly became regularly heavily drunk, depressed and "incapable of getting herself out of the situation".

Another teenager recalled being raped by two men while she was "so drunk she was vomiting over the side of the bed", she added.

Miss Smith said: "No child should be exploited as these girls say they were."

'Raped and assaulted'

The court heard that some of the girls were raped and physically assaulted and some were forced to have sex with "several men in a day, several times a week".

Miss Smith said the girls were given alcohol, food and money in return for sex but that there were times when violence was used.

The court was told that some of the defendants also took payments from other men to whom they supplied the girls for sex.

The girls involved were not in school regularly and often "drank and smoked and hung around with little to do".

They knew the men by nicknames such as "Master" and "Tiger", the court was told.

Image caption One of the men worked at The Balti House in Heywood, which is now under new ownership

Miss Smith said they were the "sort of children who were easy to identify, target and exploit for the sexual gratification of these men".

The court heard the men knew each other and two of them worked in takeaways in Heywood, Rochdale, called Tasty Bites and the Balti House.

Both takeaways are now under new ownership.

Four of the men worked as cab drivers at local taxi firms, one was a student and four were jobless.

Kabeer Hassan, 24, Abdul Aziz, 41, Abdul Rauf, 43, Mohammed Sajid, 35, Adil Khan, 42, Abdul Qayyum, 43, Mohammed Amin, 44, Qamar Shahzad, 29, Liaquat Shah, 41, and Hamid Safi, 22, have all pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child under 16.

A 59-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also denies the same charge.

Trafficking charge

He also denies two counts of rape, aiding and abetting a rape, one count of sexual assault and an allegation of trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation.

  • Mr Hassan, of Lacrosse Avenue, Oldham, and Mr Shahzad, of Tweedale Street, Rochdale, also deny rape.
  • Mr Aziz, of Armstrong Hurst Close, Rochdale, denies two counts of rape and one allegation of trafficking for sexual exploitation.
  • Mr Khan, of Oswald Street, and Mr Rauf, of Darley Road, both in Rochdale, have also pleaded not guilty to trafficking for sexual exploitation.
  • Mr Sajid, of Jepheys Street, Rochdale, denies trafficking, two counts of rape and one allegation of sexual activity with a child.
  • Mr Amin, of Falinge Road, Rochdale, denies sexual assault.
  • Mr Shah and Mr Safi, both of Kensington Street, Rochdale, each denied two counts of rape and Mr Safi has also pleaded not guilty to trafficking.

Mr Aziz, Mr Khan, Mr Safi and the 59-year-old are currently in custody.

Mr Qayyum, of Ramsay Street, Rochdale, and the rest of the defendants are on bail.

The court heard that on one occasion the 59-year-old man met two girls at a takeaway where they were given food and vodka.

He demanded sex from one 15-year-old, saying: "It's part of the deal because I bought you vodka, you have to give me something."

Miss Smith said the girl refused and he raped her.

The jury also heard that in about August 2008 Abdul Aziz "took over" from the 59-year-old and started taking girls to various locations where they would have sex with older men.

One of these locations was a flat in Jephys Street, Rochdale, where Mohammed Sajid and Mohammed Shazad lived, where a "group of men" would always be waiting to have sex with them.

The trial continues.

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