A GANG of eight friends and relatives “targeted, sexualised” and subjected young girls to “attacks of a degrading, violent nature”, a court has heard.
The men are alleged to have sexually abused girls as young as 13 when they were around four to five years older in an alleyway in Rotherham town centre, in Clifton Park or in Rotherham Interchange.
The offences are said to have taken place in Rotherham between 1999 and 2003 against three girls then aged under 16 — who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Mrs Michelle Colborne QC, prosecuting, opened the case at Sheffield Crown Court today.
She said three of the defendants — Sageer Hussain, Mohammed Whied and Asif Ali — were cousins, while co-defendant Basharat Hussain is also Sageer’s older brother.
The prosecution said some of the men were reported to police and social services in 2003 but the case was dropped after families felt intimidated.
One complainant said she continued to associate with the men because they told her her mother would be gang-raped if she went to police.
In total, the men face 19 charges — they deny all of them.
Many of the defendants had nicknames. The charges are as follows:
Sageer Hussain (30), of Clough Road, Rotherham, has been charged with four counts of rape and one count of indecent assault. He was known as Ciggy or Ziggy.
Basharat Hussain (40) is charged with one count of indecent assault. The prosecution said he was known as Bash.
Mohammed Whied (32) of Psalters Lane, Kimberworth, was known as Whiddy. He faces one count of aiding and abetting rape.
Asif Ali (30), of Clough Road, is charged with rape and was known as Ali.
Ishtiaq Khaliq (33), of Carlisle Street, Rotherham, is charged with rape, and three counts of indecent assault. He was known as Blinky or Ishy and is said to have had a problem with his eyes.
The prosecution said Sageer and Waleed Ali (34), of Canklow Road, Rotherham, were associates of Khaliq.
Ali is charged with rape and indecent assault.
Masoued Malik (32) of Bridgewater Way, Rotherham, is charged with rape, false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit indecent assault. He was known as Masy.
Naeem Rafiq (33) of Clarendon Road, Eastwood, has been charged with conspiracy to commit indecent assault and conspiracy to falsely imprisonment. The prosecution said he was known as Nemy.
Mrs Colborne told the jury: “You will hear evidence from a number of women who were targeted, sexualised and in some instances subjected to attacks of degrading, violent nature at the hands of these men.
“These were local girls, some came from perfectly normal lives and were lured by the excitement of friendships with older Asian youths.”
Sageer Hussain played a key role, said Mrs Colborne, befriending young girls who were flattered that he and his friends wanted to speak to them.
He then became domineering in his treatment of one of the complainants, said Mrs Colborne, and he used to pass them on to his friends, older brothers and associates.
“He was assisted in differing ways by some of the defendants, each willingly engaging in exploitative behaviour and using girls to their own ends,” she added.
Mrs Colborne said some of the defendants will claim they do not know the complainants and that they have brought about allegations motivated by compensation rights.
The trial is due to last six weeks.