Accused 'asked for younger girls'

South Wales Guardian: Abdul Rauf is accused, along with 10 other men, of exploiting five under-age girls for sex Abdul Rauf is accused, along with 10 other men, of exploiting five under-age girls for sex

A member of an alleged child abuse ring told his teenage victims to supply him with even "younger girls", a court has heard.

The witness, who cannot be identified, was giving evidence in the trial of 11 men accused of being part of a sexual exploitation ring operating in and around Rochdale, Greater Manchester, in 2008 and 2009.

Kabeer Hassan, Abdul Aziz, Abdul Rauf, Mohammed Sajid, Adil KAbAhan, Abdul Qayyum, Mohammed Amin, Qamar Shahzad, Liaquat Shah, Hamid Safi and a 59-year-old man who cannot be named all deny conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with five girls under the age of 16.

The jury at Liverpool Crown Court were shown a third day of police interviews with one alleged victim, recorded when she was 15 years old. Questioned by a female police officer, the witness, now aged 19, said she had sex with defendant Abdul Rauf, a taxi driver, "about 10 times" before she turned 16.

"Did he know how old you were?" the officer asked. "He knew my age because my friend told him," the girl replied. "We were in his taxi and he just asked us how old we were.

"She told him I was 15 and she was 16 and he asked if we knew anyone younger and she said she did. He told us to bring them next time."

The police officer asked the girl: "What did you think about that?" The witness said she "would have been glad" because the younger girls would take attention off her. But she went on to say those feelings had made her feel "tight". "Because it would happen to them and I would feel bad," she explained.

She said Rauf would pay her friend about £20 if he had sex with one of them and £40 if he had had sex with them both. Around half that money would then go to co-defendant Abdul Aziz, accused of "taking over" the exploitation ring, she said.

The girls were abused by the men who used alcohol, money, drugs and threats of violence to force them to have sex, the court heard earlier. Four were from broken homes and one was in care, and they would often spend their days "unsupervised by responsible adults", the prosecution said. The jury were told the girls were not in school regularly and "drank and smoked and hung around with little to do".

Hassan, 24, Aziz, 41, Rauf, 43, Sajid, 35, Khan, 42, Qayyum, 43, Amin, 44, Shahzad, 29, Shah, 41, and Safi, 22, all live in the Greater Manchester area.

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