Telford CSE case: One of the defendants is cleared of girl's rape at cafe

A judge has ruled that a defendant is not guilty of a charge of raping a young girl at a Telford cafe 17 years ago.

The case is being heard at Birmingham Crown Court
The case is being heard at Birmingham Crown Court

Mohammed Ali Sultan, 33, is among five defendants accused of assaulting the alleged victim at various locations, including the Blue Cafe.

Following evidence relating to a passport, the Birmingham Recorder Melbourne Inman QC directed that Ali Sultan was not guilty of one of two rape charges against him, due to his alibi.

The decision related to a trip made to Pakistan by the defendant between March 23, 2002 and late April 2002. The woman claimed the rape offence took place on March 28.

The prosecution alleged at Birmingham Crown Court there were ‘doubts’ over the entry and exit stamps at an airport in Pakistan, but a forgery investigator told the trial his findings were "inconclusive".

Another of the defendants has denied knowing the woman, who was allegedly traded between men and sexually abused as a young girl in Telford.

Amjad Hussain, 38, is among the five men accused of carrying out a string of sex offences against her.

The case so far:

The offences are alleged to have started when the girl, now an adult, was just 12.

The prosecution alleges that the girl was sexually exploited and “passed around like a piece of meat” until in her mid-teens.

Giving evidence yesterday, Hussain told the jury that he did not know the alleged victim in 2002 and that he did not recognise her face from a video played in court.

Hussain told the jury that in 2002 he had a girlfriend, but the relationship ended because he was due to get married and travelled to Pakistan for the wedding.

He told the jury that at the time he would not have hung round with another defendant Mohammed Ali Sultan due to their age difference and had not been in a car with him.

He said he knew Shafiq Younas as they lived in the same area, but did not associate with him at the time.

Mr Liddiard then asked: “Did you know Mohammad Rizwan?

Hussain replied: “No, never. I never socialised with him.”

But he said he knew another defendant Nazam Akhtar.

Hussain said: “He is a cousin of my friend. I never hung out or socialised with him.”

The jury previously heard that Hussain drove a red Rover – in which the woman alleged that some of the offences took place.

Hussain said no-one matching the woman’s name or two other named females, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had got into the vehicle when he was using it.

Hussain, of Acacia Drive, Leegomery, Telford, denies indecent assault.

Shafiq Younas, 35, of Regent Street, Wellington, Telford, denies indecent assault.

Ali Sultan, 33, formerly of Telford, denies one charge of rape and three of indecent assault.

Nazam Akhtar, 35, of Victoria Avenue, Wellington, denies rape, while co-defendant Mohammad Rizwan, 37, of Mafeking Road, Telford, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of indecent assault.

The jury was also told that Younas and Rizwan would not be giving evidence in the witness box during the trial.

Giving evidence, Akhtar also told the jury that he had never met the woman and that he never travelled in the car with Hussain.

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

The trial continues.

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