Members of alleged grooming gang 'used and abused' vulnerable young girls

The alleged gang members are on trial at Leeds Crown Court. (PA)

Ten members of a grooming gang have been accused of "using and abusing" a number of vulnerable young girls.

The group of nine men and one woman are accused of "deliberately targeting" the victims aged between 12 and 16 in Huddersfield, West Yorks, between 2005 and 2008.

Together they face 27 charges, including 20 of rape.

On Tuesday, Leeds Crown Court heard the four victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were "extremely vulnerable... easy targets for abuse".

The alleged abuse was said to have taken place at several places in Huddersfield over a number of years. (PA)

Prosecutor Richard Wright said some of the girls were plied with drink and drugs and "passed around" by men who abused them.

The prosecution told the court the defendants used threats and violence to control the young girls and also force them into sexual activity against their will.

The jury heard some of the offences, including trafficking and attempted rape, happened in vehicles which had been driven to remote locations.

Sometimes the victims would be sexually assaulted by complete strangers, who remain unidentified to this day, the court heard.


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The court heard the mother of one victim "tried desperately" to stop her daughter going out but was "failed" by the inaction of the police and social services.

Mr Wright said: "The girls targeted by those men were children and the men knew that and they did not care about it for a moment.

"These men cared only for themselves and viewed these girls as objects to be used and abused at will.”

All of the defendants in the case are from Huddersfield and face charges relating to girls aged between 13 and 15, except one who's accused of raping a girl under the age of 13.

Iftikhar Ali, 38, is charged with three counts of rape and one of attempted rape.

Manzoor Akhtar, 30, faces three charges of rape and one of trafficking persons for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

Basharat Hussain, 32, and Samuel Fikru, 31, each face two charges of rape.

Fehreen Rafiq, 39, the only woman of the group, is charged with two counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.

Mohammed Sajjad, 32, is charged with four counts of rape and one count of rape of a girl under 13 as well as a charge of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.

Banaris Hussain, 36, and Mohammed Suhail Arif, 32, are each charged with one count of rape.

Umar Zaman, whose whereabouts are unknown and who is being tried in his absence, faces two charges of rape.

One of the defendants cannot be named for legal reasons.

They are charged with with rape and two counts of trafficking persons for sexual exploitation.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC, presiding, said some of the defendants will claim the alleged offences never happened, others will say this is a case of mistaken identify and at least one will argue the girls consented.

The trial, which is expected to last up to seven weeks, continues.