A WOMAN told a jury she has fought for 13 years and refused to "go away" because the men on trial for exploiting her when she was a teenager “destroyed” her.
The woman, now 27, has been giving evidence over three days at Sheffield Crown Court where eight men are on trial for a number of sexual offences against her said to have been carried out in 2003 when she was 13.
The court has heard that the girl reported to police in 2003 that she had been sexually exploited by defendants Sageer Hussain (30), Masoued Malik (32) and Naeem Rafiq (33) but withdrew her complaints because “police lost evidence” and “didn't offer protection”.
The complainant came forward again to police in 2013 and made further complaints of sexual abuse against the five other defendants.
The court has also heard that the woman wrote a book about her experiences of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in around 2010, has worked with CSE victims and appeared in the media to talk about the issue.
Defence barristers have suggested under cross-examination that the woman had made up or embellished accounts about the defendants in order to get herself out of trouble when she was 13 or to make money later in life.
In her re-examination of the woman, Miss Michelle Colborne, prosecuting, asked what her goal was when she published a book.
She answered: “At the time there was nothing about CSE, but it was happening everywhere and it was not being discussed.
“I just wanted to help somebody.
“I remember when it was happening to me and feeling so alone.
“I can remember saying that even if one person reads that book and it makes a difference to their lives then I have achieved what I wanted to do with it.
“I never even read my contract through to see what I was getting.
“I can assure you I have never been JK Rowling, I have not made money from this.”
Miss Colborne asked what had been the gain for her CSE public speaking and training.
The woman answered: “I have helped lots of victims, even to the point where they have changed their lives, they have turned their lives around, gone back into education, they’ve realised they deserved and wanted more.”
The woman said she refused to just disappear for ten years between her two complaints to the police, adding: “I have never gone away because this destroyed my life, not only taking away my education – I would have gone on to university, I would have had a nice life.
“But this destroyed who I was.
“It took away a part of me I will never get back – that’s why I have never gone away, I have fought for 13 years.”
The eight men deny all the charges. The trial continues.
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