Manchester

Rochdale child-sex trial: Girls were prostitutes, accused man claims

Top row l-r: Abdul Rauf, Kabeer Hassan and Abdul Qayyum. Bottom row l-r: Liaquat Shah, Qamar Shahzad, Mohammed Amin and Mohammed Sajid
Image caption All the men deny conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children under the age of 16

A man accused of being part of a child-sex ring in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, has accused some of his alleged victims of prostitution.

The 59-year-old man admitted having a prolonged sexual relationship with one girl, who is alleged to have conspired with the men to exploit other girls.

He told Liverpool Crown Court he believed she was 18 and a prostitute.

The 11 men on trial all deny conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children under 16.

'Clever girls'

The man giving evidence, who cannot be named for legal reasons, dismissed the charges as "white lies" and "rubbish".

When asked about the alleged victims in the case, the man said: "They were clever girls. They had a business empire which extended to Leeds, Nelson, Bradford.

"If they went on to Sugar's programme they would probably win The Apprentice. They did very well."

After being asked a question about how one of the alleged victims could describe his naked body, the defendant stood up and took off his top to reveal his naked torso.

He said: "She would have seen this," referring to his hairy body and back, which he claims she did not tell the police about.

The defendant then threw a clump of chest hair on the floor and said: "I only have to walk past someone to leave hairs on them."

He told the court that one girl in particular used to cause problems and "corrupted" the other girls, who would hang around in a large group.

"She never used to hide the fact that white was superior to any other race. The other girls were much, much better... she sort of infected them, corrupted them as well," the man said.

He also said of the alleged victim: "Anybody who wanted to try to have sex with (her), they would have sex with her.

"I have never had sex with her. There's a price on her. Anybody who pays has sex with her."

The court heard that the man was separated from his wife in 2000 and had grown-up children.

'Trained in sex'

He told the court he had "needs" which is why he had a relationship with one of the girls connected to the case.

When asked if he had been involved in a conspiracy, he responded: "It's all white lies."

He then accused the police of arresting the wrong people and added: "Shame on the police."

Following a heated exchange with prosecutor Rachel Smith, in which he dismissed claims he was making money from the girls, the defendant turned on the alleged victims again.

He said: "You have only got my kind here. You are looking for scapegoats. Where are the white people?

"They have trained them in sex. They have trained them in drinking. By the time they are fully trained, they start their own business," he said.

Judge Gerald Clifton interjected to ask the defendant to "think about whether he was doing himself any good".

The defendant denies conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children under the age of 16, two counts of rape, aiding and abetting a rape, one count of sexual assault and an allegation of trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation.

Kabeer Hassan, 24; Abdul Aziz, 41; Abdul Rauf, 43; Mohammed Sajid, 35; Adil Khan, 42; Abdul Qayyum, 43; Mohammed Amin, 44; Qamar Shahzad, 29; Liaquat Shah, 41 and Hamid Safi, 22, all deny conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children under the age of 16.

  • Mr Hassan, of Lacrosse Avenue, Oldham, and Mr Shahzad, of Tweedale Street, Rochdale, also deny rape.
  • Mr Aziz, of Armstrong Hurst Close, Rochdale, denies two counts of rape and one allegation of trafficking for sexual exploitation.
  • Mr Khan, of Oswald Street, and Mr Rauf, of Darley Road, both in Rochdale, have also pleaded not guilty to trafficking for sexual exploitation.
  • Mr Sajid, of Jepheys Street, Rochdale, denies trafficking, two counts of rape and one allegation of sexual activity with a child.
  • Mr Amin, of Falinge Road, Rochdale, denies sexual assault.
  • Mr Shah and Mr Safi, both of Kensington Street, Rochdale, each denied two counts of rape and Mr Safi has also pleaded not guilty to trafficking.

The trial continues.

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