Cambridgeshire

Peterborough grooming trial: Restaurateur 'had predatory interest' in girls

A married restaurant owner groomed under-age girls in Peterborough with money, gifts and alcohol, a court has heard.

Mohammed Khubaib, 43, had a "persistent and almost predatory interest" in teenage girls, the Old Bailey was told.

He is accused of forcing a 14-year-old girl to perform a sex act on him while his friend Manase Motaung, 32, is charged with raping a 16-year-old.

Both deny all sex assault, trafficking and grooming charges against them.

Mr Khubaib faces 11 counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation girls aged from 12 to 15 between November 2010 and January 2013.

South-African born Mr Motaung is accused alongside him on seven of the trafficking charges, involving six girls.

'Unhealthy association'

Mr Khubaib was said to have "hooked" girls with vodka to make them "compliant" to sexual advances.

Mark Dennis QC, prosecuting, said: "As a middle-aged Asian man, he (Mr Khubaib) had nothing in common with these young girls.

"His unhealthy association with them was unknown to their parents or those who had parental control."

The girls were "vulnerable" because of their age, background, circumstances or unsettled schooling and Mr Khubaib claimed to be their "friend and helper", Mr Dennis said.

The girls would be taken to flats owned by Mr Khubaib where he would get them drunk and uninhibited enough "to engage in sexual activity".

Mr Motaung was a "friend who shared that common interest".

He allegedly raped a drunk 16-year-old at a "grooming - drinking session" in October 2012.

The defendants were arrested at a terraced house in Peterborough, where police found two girls aged 14.

None of the complainants or other girls in the case can be identified for legal reasons.

Details of trafficking allegations will be revealed later.

The trial continues.

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