Men deny abusing schoolgirl in graveyards

By Adele Forrest | 06/11/2017

Men deny abusing schoolgirl in graveyards
Sheffield Crown Court

THREE men have gone on trial accused of plying a schoolgirl with alcohol and sexually assaulting her in graveyards and car parks.

The Masbrough men all deny 15 charges of indecent assault, with the offences alleged to have taken place against one girl when she was aged around 12 to 13 between 1994 and 1995.

Sajid Ali (38), of James Street, is accused of seven offences, Zaheer Iqbal (40), St John’s Avenue, five and Riaz Makhmood (39), of Falding Street, three.

Opening the trial at Sheffield Crown Court this morning (Monday), prosecutor Ms Sophie Drake said the complainant, now aged 35, had met the defendants through schoolfriends and hanging around in Masbrough.

“When she was a child she didn’t feel popular, she felt quite a big girl,” said Ms Drake.

The woman said she had known the men by nicknames — Ali was known as Sos, Iqbal as Booty, and Makhmood as Raz.

The men would give her alcohol and then ask her to perform sex acts on them in car parks and graveyards, said Ms Drake.

“At first this was just Ali, and in drink she would perform oral sex on him,” Ms Drake said. 

“She felt at first Ali that was her boyfriend, but looking back now she realises that was not the case and he was using her for sexual acts.”

The men would tell her she was “crap”, other girls were better than her and that she was fat, the jury was told.

The woman told police that she would be given alcohol and passed around the defendants “one after another” and that she had thought she was making Ali happy.

“She knew it was wrong, but they made her feel special,” said Ms Drake.

The men had not physically forced the girl to perform sex acts but she had felt pressurised to do so, said Ms Drake.

“The defendants would say they would tell her mother what she was doing and called her a slag — this scared her,” she added.

“This was a way of controlling and pressurising her.”

The sexual abuse had stopped when the complainant’s mother stopped her from hanging around Masbrough, said Ms Drake, and she had never told anyone what had happened to her until 2014 when she confided in a family member and then went to the police.

Ms Drake said when the men had been arrested they had all admitted they had been known by the nicknames the woman had given.

Iqbal said he had known the woman when he was growing up but his co-accused claimed they did not know the woman and all denied any sexual activity had taken place.

The trial is due to last a week.

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