Lancashire

Woman denies luring two girls to be raped in Blackburn

A woman has denied luring two 16-year-old girls to a night out in Lancashire to be raped by three men.

Stephanie Knight, 19, from Blackburn, was accused of luring the girls into a car with the men, then back to a house in Accrington.

She told the jury at Burnley Crown Court there was no prior agreement that the girls would be sexually assaulted.

Brothers Amjad Hussain, 34, and Shahid Hussain, 37, and their cousin Tanveer Butt, 39, denied conspiracy to rape.

It is alleged the girls were driven around and plied with vodka and drugs before one of them was forced to have sex with the men back at a house.

Giving evidence at Burnley Crown Court, Ms Knight said she was "shocked" when the girls were taken to a house with no electricity in Accrington instead of a supposed visit to a nightclub.

The girl who was allegedly raped at the house told the jury she had only known Ms Knight a week before the incident.

Amjad Hussain was then said to have raped both girls as he drove them home to Blackburn, Lancashire, in December 2009.

'Sexual activity'

Ms Knight, who has been in local authority care since the age of 11, said she first met Amjad Hussain six months earlier when he pulled up beside her in the street and asked for her mobile phone number.

She said they went on to have a sexual relationship and she said she later fell in love with him.

In the months that followed Amjad Hussain persuaded her to perform oral sex on his brother and cousin, she added.

Her counsel, Elizabeth Nicholls, asked her: "When you went out with the girls, did you agree with Amjad that they would be raped?"

"No," she replied.

Ms Nicholls asked: "When you went out did you expect they would perform oral sex or any form of sexual activity with these three men?"

"No," she said.

She was then asked: "Who did you think was most likely to perform sex?"

Assault threat

"I thought it would be me," Ms Knight replied.

Ms Knight also denied she heard one of the girls scream out in the house in Craven Street, and that she had prevented the other from going to her aid.

She said she had not tried to force one girl to perform oral sex on one of the men by threatening to assault her.

Ms Knight and Mr Butt pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting rape, while the Hussain brothers and Mr Butt all denied rape.

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