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Court in sexual exploitation case told two defendants ‘always shared girls’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 20, 2014

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A TEENAGE schoolgirl at the centre of a sexual exploitation case has given evidence against her alleged attackers.

The 15-year-old from Burton addressed the courtroom from behind a screened curtain at Stafford Crown Court where the case is being heard.

Charges have been brought against six Burton men who are alleged to have come into contact with the girl during 2012 and 2013 while she was aged 14 and 15.

Umber Farrouq, 21, of Belvedere Road, Anees Hanif, 19, of Norfolk Road, Haroon Hafeez, 18, of Waterloo Street, and Matab Ali, 21, of Gordon Street, all face charges of sexual activity with a child.

Ameer Arshad, 18, of Waterloo Street, faces allegations of causing or inciting a child to engage is sexual activity and blackmail.

Junaid Ali, 20, of Shobnall Street, faces allegations of attempted rape, while Hanif is also charged with causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. They all deny the charges.

The court heard that the girl told police officers she twice had sex with Farrouq in October 2012.

But Farrouq’s defence solicitor Balraj Bhatia said claims made the by girl about phone calls between the pair were inconsistent and the pair never had sex.

Hanifs’ defence solicitor, Simon Ripon, challenged the girl over her version of events, in which she claimed they had sex four times.

It is alleged Ali attempted to rape the girl at her home after Hanif introduced the pair last spring.

In a video interview with child protection officers played out to the court, the girl claimed Hanif told her they ‘always shared girls’.

Lefi Tsiattalou, defending for Ali, disputed this and pointed to a police document in which the girl said nothing had happened between the pair.

The girl said she initially had not raised allegations against Ali because she ‘did not want any trouble with him’.

The trial continues.

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