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Telford sex abuse trial: Court told of 'relationship'

By Rob Smith | Telford | Crime | Published:

A teenager told a court that at one time she considered one of the men accused of sexually abusing her in Telford to be her boyfriend.

The 18-year-old was speaking at the trial of Ghamer Sulayman, 23, Ayad Hizam, 21, and Saleh Qasem, 20, who are charged with 20 criminal counts in relation to the girl, aged 15 at the time.

It relates to several incidents in 2016 when she was taken to hotels and a house in Telford and Birmingham, and allegedly abused.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard that the girl came to know Hizam through Snapchat in early 2016, and the two began seeing each other.

On Friday the girl gave evidence saying that she liked Hizam and classed him as a boyfriend, and that he became jealous when he realised she was in contact with Sulayman.

The case so far:

Hizam, who she knew as ‘Nathan’, took her phone away from her and warned her to stay away from the older man.

She said that the two spent the night together at various hotels on multiple occasions, and that on one such night he noticed her using her phone.

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Miss White cited a statement made to police by the alleged victim, which said: "I think Nathan found out that other boys were contacting me and didn't like that.

"He took my phone from me and wouldn't give it back.

Searched

"He said Ghamer was contacting me and said he knew him, and that I should stay away from him."

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Miss White went on: "He looked at the phone and said you were speaking to other boys on the phone, including Ghamer. He was jealous of that, wasn't he?"

The girl agreed.

Representing Sulayman, Mark George said that as part of their investigation police found evidence that the girl had searched for the term ‘Asian grooming Birmingham’ on an internet device. Asked why she had searched for the term, she said: “Because that’s what was happening then.”

Sulayman, of Mercia Drive, Kings Heath, Birmingham, faces seven counts of rape and three of trafficking. Qasem, 20, of Runcorn Road, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, faces one count of sexual assault and one of trafficking. Hizam, of Bridgecroft, also Balsall Heath, faces four counts of abduction and four counts of sexual activity with a child.

All three deny the offences which allegedly happened between March and July 2016. The trial continues.

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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