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Woman allegedly traded between men as girl in Telford says 'not one teacher' intervened when she was called names by pupils

By Kirsten Rawlins | Telford | Crime | Published:

A woman allegedly traded between men and sexually abused as a young girl in Telford has told a jury that "not one teacher" intervened when she was called names by other pupils at school.

The case is being heard at Birmingham Crown Court

The alleged victim claimed she was forced to perform sex acts in a churchyard, raped above a shop on a dirty mattress, and violently abused when she tried to refuse the men's advances.

The offences are alleged to have taken place in the Telford and started when the girl, now an adult, was just 12.

The prosecution have said the girl was sexually exploited and "passed around like a piece of meat" until in her mid-teens.

Opening the case at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday, Michelle Heeley QC said the alleged victim was sold for for sex, first by a man named Tanveer Ahmed, who "befriended her" during a low point in her life.

Jurors heard that Ahmed, who made takeaway deliveries for Perfect Pizza in the town, is not on trial alongside the other defendants, having been deported to Pakistan for "unrelated offences".

Later, the girl came into contact with the first defendant, Mohammed Ali Sultan, 33, formerly of Telford, who the alleged victim also claims sold her for sex and abused her.

Ali Sultan is facing two charges of rape and three of indecent assault.

The jury was told that he already had convictions in both 2012 and 2015 for "similar offences against young girls".

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Rumour

Jurors watched a video-recorded interview with the woman, in which she told detectives of enduring two years of "hell" and repeatedly contemplated taking her own life as she was traded to different men for "months and months".

She claimed to have been taken to a flat above a Perfect Pizza shop "to have sex with Asians", and "lost count" of the men she was forced to sleep with.

She said her family knew nothing at the time but added that "people at school" somehow found out, through rumour.

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"I don't know how people found out, but they did," she added.

"I wouldn't say I was bullied for it, but I would get called names.

"It just made me keep it to myself even more.

"There used to be like actions, with their hand, hand by their mouth."

She added: "Even the teachers heard people saying these things and not one teacher pulled me to the side and asked me if things were all right.

"I was too scared to go and ask for help.

"But nobody said a word."

She told police that, years after the abuse ended, she recognised photos of two alleged attackers, Ali Sultan and Ahmed, from press reports on the "Telford sex ring", during the Operation Chalice investigation.

Asked why she did not tell anyone about exactly happened until years later, she replied: "I think I had just had enough, I kept it to myself for all these years."

Evidence

She added: "Why should somebody be able to do those things and get away with it?

"Still to this day it goes through my head, all the time."

She also told how, at the time, her mother 'went berserk' at her, after a neighbour had told her "Pakistanis were coming to the house when she wasn't there".

Barrister Anthony Barraclough, representing Ali Sultan, asked the woman - giving evidence in court from behind a screen on Wednesday - if she had "lied" about one of the alleged rapes, after telling the jury there was evidence that his client was in Pakistan at the time.

She replied: "I know what he did."

Mr Barraclough then asked why she told a "lie to police", by changing an account she gave at the time all those years ago, about whether that rape ever happened.

"I told them that I had been raped, then I told them I hadn't because I was too scared to tell them," she said.

Earlier, she claimed to have been threatened by Ali Sultan as a child never to speak of her alleged abuse.

It was only years later that she finally spoke about what happened, when police knocked her door.

"I was being raped and abused and assaulted," she said.

Justice

The other men on trial are Amjad Hussain, 38, of Acacia Drive, Leegomery, Telford, who is accused of forcing her to perform a sex act on two separate occasions.

Shafiq Younas, 35, of Regent Street, Wellington, near Telford, is accused of performing a sex act on the youngster in the same churchyard in Wellington.

Another male, Nazam Akhtar, 35, of Victoria Avenue, Wellington, has been charged with rape, said to have happened in the back of a car.

Also on trial is Mohammad Rizwan, of Mafeking Road, Telford, who jurors heard also worked at Perfect Pizza and allegedly forced the girl to perform sex acts.

The 37-year-old, who will tell jurors that he had a consensual relationship with the victim when she was 17, faces two charges of indecent assault.

Asked by Mr Barraclough if she had made accusations against Ali Sultan because Ahmed was now abroad, beyond the reach of English courts, the woman replied: "It's not about getting my own back.

"It's about getting justice.

"He shouldn't be able to walk around."

The men deny any wrongdoing and the trial continues

Kirsten Rawlins

By Kirsten Rawlins
@kirsten_Star

Online Entertainment Editor for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. E-mail me kirsten.rawlins@expressandstar.co.uk, or phone 01902 319368

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