Brierfield gang accused of raping girl (14) at drink and drugs den

Scales
Scales

A TEENAGE girl was passed around a group of Asian men so she could be repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted at a drink and drugs den, a court has heard this week.

The 14-year-old was was told she would be shot, killed and that her or her family would be hurt if she went to the police about the men, who were also said to have posted photos of her on Facebook with the slogan: “Free b*** j**s.”

Manchester Crown Court heard from prosecutor Mr Alaric Bassano that the sex ring was only uncovered by police when the under-age victim fell pregnant.

Mr Bassano added: “The girl was groomed over a period of time and on many occasions was taken to a house in Brierfield.

“That house was used as a den at which young men attended and brought or invited girls and young women to drink alcohol, take drugs and engage in sex.

“It was to this house the girl was taken and at this house she was sexually assaulted and raped by several adult males. During these times, the girl was being passed between the men to be used for their own sexual gratification.”

The jury heard that ring leader Mohammad Imran Amjad, “Immy”, now 26, had befriended the girl when she was 12 or 13, driving her about Burnley in his car.

Mr Bassano continued: “It was him who took her on many occasions to the house in Brierfield and assisted, encouraged and incited others to rape and sexually assault the girl. On one occasion he raped the girl himself.”

The court heard that, over time, he pressured the girl to go along with the abuse and threatened her with violence after he was first arrested and interviewed by police.

The girl became involved with Amjad when aged 12, when her behaviour spiralled out of control – which, according to the Crown, made her vulnerable.

“She was sometimes aggressive, disobedient towards her mother, refusing to go to school and staying out late at night without informing her mother of her whereabouts.

“It is not, generally speaking, well-behaved girls who defy their parents, stay out late at night and frequent the company of older men”, he added.

Mr Bassano said the girl’s mother had confronted Amjad after growing suspicious of the fact her daughter was spending time with the older man, who she often text and spoke to over the phone.

The girl’s mum went to his home in Halifax Road, Brierfield, shortly after Christmas 2009 and asked him “Are you Immy?”, to which he replied: “Who the f*ck are you?”.

And the defendant had shrugged his shoulders and walked away when her mother told him her daughter’s age and accused him of being in an “inappropriate relationship” with her, the court heard.

Mr Bassano added: “It is to be noted he did not deny the allegation. About this time, the girl’s mother contacted the police to report her concerns about her daughter’s welfare at the hands of Amjad.”

Unfortunately, the girl made no complaint and continued seeing Amjad, who was undeterred by the mother’s challenge and, in 2010, went on to commit the offences.

In February 2011 the teenager, who was 14, was formally interviewed by the police. She did not reveal anything in relation to the sex abuse, but admitted going to the house, owned by Amjad’s uncle, and gave details of men who went there.

“The interview was conducted by police because the girl was pregnant, below the age of consent and known to be associating with older men”, Mr Bassano said.

“Finally, she referred to a Facebook account which one or other of the males had created with photos of her and accompanying messages.”

He added: “It was only in a series of revelations between June and October, 2011 that she disclosed the full details of what had been happening to her at Sackville Street.”

The court heard, on several occasions in 2010, the girl would be taken upstairs and was allegedly told by Amjad to sleep with whoever walked through the door. When she refused, the men would insist and threw her on to the bed.

“The girl felt powerless to protest further and, in fear and shock, submitted to what followed”, added Mr Bassano.

On another occasion, Amjad nodded to his brother Zishan to follow them upstairs and Zishan raped her.

“He became hostile and told her she had no choice. He submitted her to sexual intercourse but she did not consent.

“When she was later taken home by Amjad and told him she would not again do these things he demanded, he told her in no uncertain terms she would do whatever he told her.”

Amjad of Halifax Road, Brierfield, denied three charges of child abduction, one of rape, an alternative allegation of sexual activity with a child, two allegations of aiding and abetting rape, three counts of aiding and abetting sexual activity with a child, one count of aiding and abetting sexual assault, two charges of intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence – one an alternative – and one charge of witness intimidation.

Shiraz Afzal (25), of Mansfield Crescent, Brierfield, pleads not guilty to allegations of aiding and abetting rape and aiding and abetting sexual activity with a child.

Omar Mazafer (22), of Halifax Road, Brierfield, denies aiding and abetting rape and aiding and aiding and abetting sexual activity with a child.

Mohammed Suleman Farooq (22), of Berry Street, Brierfield, pleads not guilty to sexual assault, an alternative charge of sexual activity with a child and witness intimidation.

Mohammed Zeeshan Amjad (24), of Halifax Road, Brierfield, denies rape and an alternative count of sexual activity with a child.

Haroon Mahmood (22), of John Street, Brierfield. pleads not guilty to rape and an alternative count of sexual activity with a child.

The trial continues.