This reporting is a bit of a contrast to the restrictions on the West Yorkshire cases.
Two girls were ‘mere objects’ to be groomed, humiliated and sexually abused by a group of men in Rochdale, a jury heard. Eight men have gone on trial at Minshull Street Crown Court accused of 80 sexual offences between 2002 and 2006.
Neither woman, as alleged victims of sexual offences, can be identified. Opening the case, prosecutor Neil Usher said the claims came to light when one first woman made a complaint about alleged abuse she suffered as a child. Police were alerted, the court heard. The complainant told officers she had met a group of young men, including, Mohammed Ghani, when she was 12. The second complainant told police she was 13 when the abuse against her began, jurors were told. They are Girl A and Girl B
Eight defendants deny a total of 80 sexual offences between 2002 and 2006. Mr Usher said the defendants were not all known to each other, but that each of the men ‘exploited the fact’ the girls were ‘plainly very young, vulnerable and damaged’ for their own sexual gratification. “The girls were mere objects for the defendants to use, abuse, humiliate then discard,” the prosecutor said.
Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard the girls would often be picked up from outside their schools while they were still wearing their uniforms. They were then sexually assaulted against a school wall, in cars, in public parks, on Saddleworth Moor and in flats and houses in Rochdale, the court heard.
Mr Usher told the jury of another occasion when Girl A was urinated on by a group of men in a public park while she was being sexually assaulted. Prosecutors said it had taken place because she had refused to carry out a sexual act for a gang member.
On another occasion she was asked to “do it for the team” and have sex with a defendant’s uncle from Pakistan since he had “never had sex with a white girl”.
Girl A told course workers: “They did as they pleased, they made videos of me to use as blackmail. They sent the video around Rochdale anyway and I was branded a slag for it.”
As a result of what she told the police, they spoke with Girl B, a childhood friend.
The eight men on trial are:
- Mohammed Ghani, of Bamford Way, Rochdale, is accused of 10 counts of rape, five counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child, two counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of indecency with a child and two counts of buggery
- Insar Hussain, 36, of Bishop Street, Rochdale, is accused of seven counts of rape, two counts of sexual intercourse with a child, three counts of indecency with a child, four counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child and trafficking a person for sexual exploitation
- Ikhlaq Yousef, 38, of Stanley Street, Rochdale, is accused of two rapes, two counts of gross indecency with a child, two counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child and one count of causing a child to engage in sexual activity
- Jahn Shahid Ghani, 50, of Whitworth Road, Rochdale, is accused of eight counts of rape, eight counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child and one count of causing a child to engage in sexual activity
- Martin Rhodes, 39, of Dinmore Avenue, Blackpool, denies two rapes but has pleaded guilty to two counts of penetrative sex with a child
- Ali Razza Hussain Kasmi, 36, of Brotherod Hall Road, Rochdale, is accused of two counts of rape, two of indecency with a child and two of penetrative sexual activity with a child
- Aftar Khan, 34, of Sparth Bottoms Road, Rochdale, is accused of three rapes, three counts of indecency with a child and two counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child
- Mohammed Iqbal, 67, of Gainsborough Drive, Rochdale, is charged with two counts of paying for sexual services of a girl under the age of 18
The trial continues.
Update Tuesday 16th May. This trial opened on Wednesday 10th May. According to the public list the following day there were legal arguments which are not generally reported as such technicalities are of no interest to the general reader, then the trial was adjourned, apparently to the next day but it hasn’t appeared in the list for a few days. I’ll keep watching that list.
Update Monday 22nd May – the trial has resumed with a robust reporting restriction.