A MAN accused of ten child sex offences preyed on young girls and turned from “friend to aggressor” quickly, a court heard.
Abid Saddiq (38), of Walter Street, Masbrough, is accused of ten offences — two counts of rape, five counts of indecent assault, two counts of child abduction and one count of aiding and abetting another defendant to indecently assault.
Saddiq went on trial yesterday alongside five other men who are charged with a total of 27 offences against seven girls between 1998 to 2002.
Prosecutor Ms Ann Cotcher QC said the men had often acted as a group and “shared” the girls around.
“These young men knew the girls were underage and more than that, they knew the girls were lacking in confidence and they would prey on their vulnerabilities,” she said.
“It was not unusual to park outside the schools where some of the girls went to, waiting to engage them in conversation and take them away from school or hang around in local parks or the alleyway behind Boots in Rotherham, the indoor market, or Clifton Park bandstand or the bus station — always waiting for girls to perform oral sex on them.”
Saddiq is accused of repeatedly indecently assaulting one alleged victim, referred to as Girl A — when she was aged 13 or 14 and he was four years older.
His friend Masaued Malik is also accused of indecently assaulting the same girl in Clifton Park.
Saddiq claims he had sex with Girl A when she was 18, which the prosecution say is a lie.
Ms Cotcher said Girl A had been “enthralled by older Asian men” and had thought she was living the “high life” and believed she was loved by them and enjoyed their attention.
Her family had reported her missing to police and sought help from social services.
“She was frequently seen in cars with men when stopped by police,” said Ms Cotcher.
Ms Cotcher said Saddiq had befriended a number of girls who are unrelated to Girl A but allege similar behaviour, adding: “They allege that he spent quite a lot of time on the Boots alleyway preying on young girls and at times forcing himself on them.
“Every single complainant in this case, every single one of these seven girls alleges some form of predatory behaviour by Abid Saddiq on them from the late 1990s to early 2002.”
She added: “The prosecution accept Saddiq many have begun by being friendly to Girl A and he might not have used force against her but as time moved on he showed a great determination in his pursuit of sexual gratification.
“He turned from a friend, allegedly, to an aggressor very quickly.”
The prosecution claim between 1999 and 2002 when Saddiq was aged between 18 and 21 he had went from offending alone to offending in pairs or as part of a group.
Saddiq is charged with raping a 15-year-old, referred to as Girl B, in the alleyway beside boots in 2000 or 2001.
Saddiq is also charged with raping another girl, Girl C, at Rotherham railway station while another defendant, referred to only as Defendant 6, indecently assaulted her at the same time.
The alleged victim, who was aged between 14 and 15, said she had fled afterwards and been seen by a policeman who wanted to know if she was OK.
Ms Cotcher said the girl had been unable to speak to the officer but Saddiq had told the officer: “Don’t worry, she's drunk, I will look after her.”
Girl C said she had not reported the allegations to the police until last year after she had seen her alleged abusers together in a Sheffield pub.
The prosecutor said Saddiq had admitted to knowing Girl C but claimed he had consensual sex with when they were over the age of 16.
Ms Cotcher said Saddiq claimed Girl C’s boyfriend had once assaulted him outside a pub a few years ago and her allegations had been invented as the reason behind that assault.
Saddiq and Defendant 6 are also charged with child abduction against two other alleged victims, Girl D and Girl E, who accused the men of duping them into boarding a train to Leeds and telling them they would be taken to a hotel.
“The defendants said they would not pay for their (train) tickets unless they went to a hotel,” Ms Cotcher said.
When the girls refused to go to the hotel, they were abandoned with no money, said Ms Cotcher.
A British Transport Police officer called one of their parents who paid for their tickets home, she said.
Ms Cotcher said the girls had lied to their parents about the incident and told them they had boarded the wrong train. The men claim the incident never happened.
Saddiq denies all the charges against him, as do his co-defendants.
The trial continues.
We want to continue holding local authorities to account, attending court and council meetings, as well as providing breaking news, competitions and offers – but it costs money. Online advertising does not cover costs, therefore we feel the need to ask for your help in ensuring we can provide the best possible coverage, online and in our printed products.
For as little as £1, you can support the Rotherham Advertiser – and it only takes a minute.
Click here to support local news.