A gang of Asian men went on trial yesterday accused of a sickening catalogue of child prostitution offences against vulnerable teenage girls as young as 13.
The nine – six are married and one is a grandfather – face 55 charges, including inciting child prostitution, grooming and rape between 2007 and 2009.
The girls – who cannot be named for legal reasons – were said to have received cash, alcohol, drugs, meals and mobile phone credit in exchange for sex with some of the defendants.
Three of the men – Ahdel Ali, 23, his brother Mubarek Ali, 28, and Tanveer Ahmed, 39 – allegedly acted as ‘pimps’, passing two of the young girls among their friends and using them as sexual commodities.
Mubarek Ali is also accused of trafficking one of the girls, while Abdul Rouf, 34, and Mohammed Younis, 59, are accused of using their homes as brothels for child prostitution.
Deborah Gould, prosecuting, said: ‘The Crown say that the men in the dock variously trafficked, raped or sexually abused girls both over and under the age of 16 years over a considerable period of time.
‘These men ensnared these girls. They had cars, jobs and money which gave them both freedom and power. They enticed the girls, groomed the girls and then exploited them either for their own sexual gratification or for money.’
Miss Gould told Stafford Crown Court that the case was ‘not about race, religion, colour or creed’.
She said some of the seven alleged victims came from troubled backgrounds and their low self-esteem made them ‘highly vulnerable’ to the attentions of the men.
She added: ‘They do not value themselves and therefore have no expectation that they will be valued by others.
‘Accordingly when they receive attention from others, particularly what they perhaps perceive to be somewhat exotic older males with money and cars, they soak it up, believing themselves to be the objects of genuine emotions and affections.
‘They believed themselves, and may still believe themselves, to be loved by and in love with some of these men.’
She said the alleged abusers would contact their victims by computer and mobile telephones ‘out of sight, sounds and control of even the most wary parent’.
Some of the girls first met the men in a churchyard in Telford, Shropshire, which had become a gathering place for ‘young Asian males’ who would smoke and drink there.
The court heard the Ali brothers would regularly present one of the girls for other men to have sex with. She was 16 at the time and didn’t realise at first that she was being sold for sex, Miss Gould added.
Men would pay between £20 and £40 and would either hand the money to her ‘pimps’ or pay her. She would then hand the money to them in exchange for mobile phone top-ups.
At one stage, she was 14 weeks pregnant but Mubarek Ali continued to sell her for sex, the jury heard. It is not known what happened to the baby.
After teachers and parents raised fears that the girls were being sexually abused, a police investigation named Operation Chalice began.
In December 2009, officers arrested most of the defendants and charged them with various offences related to child prostitution.
The men on trial – who all used Western nicknames – are Ahdel Ali, Mubarek Ali, Mohammed Ali Sultan, 24, Tanveer Ahmed, Mahroof Khan, 33, Noshad Hussain, 21, Mohammed Islam Choudhrey, 52, Mohammed Younis and Abdul Rouf.
They deny all charges. The trial continues.
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