Shropshire

Telford sex trial: 'Girl told to hide relationship'

A man accused of being involved in a sex exploitation racket told his 15-year-old partner she had to keep their relationship secret, a court has heard.

Mohammed Ali Sultan, 24, from Telford, Shropshire, allegedly said the girl could only tell people about them being together after she had turned 16.

She told him that she was 15 the second time they met, although she initially lied that she was 16, jurors heard.

Mr Sultan's lawyers deny that he was told her real age before they had sex.

Mr Sultan, of Victoria Avenue, Wellington, denies three charges of sexual activity with her when she was a child.

He is one of seven Telford men who deny more than 50 allegations relating to sexual exploitation and child prostitution.

Text messages

The teenager, who is now 17 and cannot be named for legal reasons, said she told Mr Sultan in the grounds of Wrekin College in September 2009 that her 16th birthday was in a few weeks.

Text messages revealed she had sex with Mr Sultan at a house in Victoria Avenue on 19 September and on other occasions in his VW Golf, although her birthday was not until 1 October.

The girl told him she was turning 17, not 16, Mr Sultan's defence lawyer Brian Dean told Stafford Crown Court jurors on Thursday.

The six co-defendants in the trial, from Wellington and Sutton Hill, in Telford, are Ahdel Ali, 23, Noshad Hussain, 21, Mubarek Ali, 28, Tanveer Ahmed, 39, Mahroof Khan, 33, and Mohammed Islam Choudhrey, 52.

They deny the charges related to incidents alleged to have happened between 2007 and 2009.

The trial continues.

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