Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford grooming trial: Man denies care home knowledge

Bradford Crown Court
Image caption The trial is taking place at Bradford Crown Court

A man accused of manipulating and repeatedly raping a girl in Bradford told a court he did not know she lived in a children's home when he met her.

Basharat Khaliq, 38, told Bradford Crown Court he met the girl, who cannot be named, in 2008 but cut contact when he learned of her young age.

Mr Khaliq claims she told him she lived in a "hostel" and they only had sex after she turned 16.

He denies five counts of rape and one count of assault by penetration.

Mr Khaliq is on trial along with nine other men, who are accused of a total of 25 offences involving two girls.

He said he first encountered the girls when they asked him for a light for a cigarette.

The court was told Mr Khaliq bought the girls vodka, swapped numbers and they "began to meet him regularly" late at night.

During cross-examination, Mr Khaliq denied a claim made by one of the complainants that he had sex with her while she was 14, saying that was a "deliberate lie".

'We were friends'

Kama Melly QC, prosecuting, asked: "It is your case that even though you'd known her since 2008, no sex happened for three years?"

"Yes," replied Mr Khaliq.

He told the jury: "I wasn't in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship nor a sexual relationship... we were friends."

Mr Khaliq denied Ms Melly's assertion that he had repeatedly refused to "knock on the door" of where she lived as he "knew she was in a children's home", instead waiting in his car near the gates.

Abdul Iqbal QC, defending, asked his client: "Where did [she] say she lived?"

Mr Khaliq replied: "Originally it was at a friend's house, later on I found out she was living in a hostel due to her personal circumstances."

He told the court a sexual relationship only started when she was aged over 16 and living away from supported accommodation.

Mr Khaliq said they "loved" each other, despite him being in a relationship with another woman who later became his wife.

Ms Melly asked: "You knew her age, you knew she was just 14 and lived in a care home, didn't you?"

Mr Khaliq replied: "No."

The trial continues, with the other defendants still due to give evidence.

The other defendants are:

Saeed Akhtar, 55, of Bradford, denies two counts of inciting child prostitution and one count of rape

Yasar Majid, 37, of Milton Keynes, denies one count of rape

Naveed Akhtar, 43, of Bradford, denies three counts of rape

Parvaze Ahmed 36, of Bradford, denies three counts of rape

Izar Hussain, 32, of Bradford, denies three counts of rape and one count of attempted rape

Zeeshan Ali, 32, of Bradford, denies one count of sexual assault

Kieran Harris, 28, of Dewsbury, denies two counts of rape

Faheem Iqbal, 27, of no fixed abode, denies aiding and abetting rape

Mohammed Usman, 31, of Bradford, denies two counts of rape

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites