Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Rotherham taxi driver 'groomed and raped girl'

Sheffield Crown Cout
Image caption Ashgar Bostan is on trial at Sheffield Crown Court

A taxi driver accused of raping a teenage schoolgirl has told a jury he had never met the alleged victim.

Ashgar Bostan, 47, is accused of attacking the complainant, now in her late 20s, twice at a flat in Wagon Road, Rotherham, between 2002 and 2004.

Prosecutors say she was raped by Bostan, who went by the name "Don", after she was "groomed and manipulated" by a woman living at the flat.

Mr Bostan, of East Bawtry Road, Rotherham, denies two counts of rape.

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Giving evidence at Sheffield Crown Court, Mr Bostan said he had not heard of the alleged victim or a woman called Shafina Ali who lived at the Wagon Road flat, and that he had never visited it.

The court heard that in a police interview following his arrest in 2016 he said: "I've never raped anybody in my life. I'm a straightforward man. I've got five kids and I'm a grandfather.

"I've been brought up the right way and I know what's right and wrong and I've never done what this lady is saying."

He also said he had never been called Don.

Asked in court about a drawing of a flower with the names Gemma and Don written on it that was found in a notebook in his garage, he said he had "no idea" who was responsible for the image.

In cross-examination, the alleged victim claimed she was "100%" certain she had correctly identified Mr Bostan as Don, the man who attacked her.

She told the court: "I know who he is and I know what he did to me. I would not put myself through this if I was lying."

Asked about her decision to spend time at the flat, she said: "I was befriended by these people who groomed me in to staying at the property.

"I was a child and they were fully grown adults."

The court heard Shafina Ali died in 2009.

The trial continues.

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