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NCA Rotherham sex abuse investigation: Six go on trial for 27 offences

From the Rotherham Advertiser

SIX men have gone on trial accused of 27 child sexual exploitation offences against seven Rotherham schoolgirls.

The men are charged with offences including rape, indecent assault and child abduction between 1998 and 2002, all alleged to have taken place in Clifton Park, Rotherham bus and railway stations, the indoor market and an alleyway next to Boots.

Prosecutor Ms Ann Cotcher QC said the defendants had befriended the vulnerable girls in order to “sexualise them” and they had been subjected to acts “of a violent and degrading nature”. The girls, who were aged 13, 14 and 15, believed that “sex was the price to pay” for friendships with older Asian youths, she said,  adding: “Those that did speak to people in authority at the time found that no action was taken at all, nothing was done.”

Abid Saddiq (38), of Walter Street, Masbrough, is accused of ten offences — two counts of rape, five counts of indecent assault, one count of aiding and abetting another defendant to indecently assault and two counts of child abduction.

Sharaz Hussain (34), of Fitzwilliam Road, Eastwood, Masaued Malik (34) and Aftab Hussain (40), of York Road, Rotherham, face four, three and two indecent assault charges respectively.

Two of the six men cannot be named for legal reasons.

Prosecutor Ms Ann Cotcher QC said the men had often acted as a group and “shared” the girls around.

“These young men knew the girls were underage and more than that, they knew the girls were lacking in confidence and they would prey on their vulnerabilities,” she said. “It was not unusual to park outside the schools where some of the girls went to, waiting to engage them in conversation and take them away from school or hang around in local parks or the alleyway behind Boots in Rotherham, the indoor market, or Clifton Park bandstand or the bus station — always waiting for girls to perform oral sex on them.”

The prosecution claim between 1999 and 2002 when Saddiq was aged between 18 and 21 he had went from offending alone to offending in pairs or as part of a group. Saddiq is charged with raping a 15-year-old, referred to as Girl B, in the alleyway beside boots in 2000 or 2001.  
Saddiq is also charged with raping another girl, Girl C, at Rotherham railway station while another defendant, referred to only as Defendant 6, indecently assaulted her at the same time. 

Saddiq claims he had sex with Girl A when she was 18, which the prosecution say is a lie. The prosecutor said Saddiq had admitted to knowing Girl C but claimed he had consensual sex with when they were over the age of 16.

The men deny all the offences and the trial, which is expected to last eight weeks, continues.

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