Developing

Grooming Trial: Girls 'Plied With Drugs'

Eleven men have gone on trial accused of sexually exploiting underage girls who had been plied with drugs and alcohol.

The five youngsters - aged between 13 and 15 when the alleged abuse began - were thought to have been "passed around" among a group of men in Rochdale and sometimes subjected to violence.

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court has been told that one of the girls became pregnant at the age of 13 and had to have an abortion.

The court heard another girl "very quickly became regularly and heavily drunk, depressed, incapable of getting herself out of the situation and resigned to what was happening to her".

Prosecutor Rachel Smith said: "She did not always cry or protest or tell the men that she did not want to have sex with them although she often did both.

"But she was persistently coerced or forced into submission by them."

Another girl, who had absconded from a council care home, said she was sexually exploited by large numbers of men and given "substantial amounts of alcohol such that she was severely drunk when she was used for sex".

She said: "They just get you proper hammered so that you can't do anything."

She claimed that she would regularly find herself drunk to near unconsciousness, waking up with men having sex with her.

She also claimed that one man would pull her hair and grab her neck if she resisted and had threatened to cut her with a razor blade if she refused to have sex with him.

The girl was eventually removed from the area and accommodated in the south of England after social workers had become aware of the extent of the alleged offences.

The court was told that the case followed an investigation by Greater Manchester Police with the first arrest in 2008 and the final one in 2011.

The jury heard police missed an opportunity to intervene earlier when one of the alleged victims disclosed what had happened but officers decided at that stage not to take the matter further.

The defendants are Kabeer Hassan (25), Abdul Aziz (41), Abdul Rauf (43), Mohammed Sajid (35), Adil Khan (42), Abdul Qayyum (43), Mohammed Amin (44), Qamar Shazad (29), Liaquat Shah (41) and Hamid Safi (22).

Another defendant cannot be named for legal reasons. All deny the charges against them.

Many other men, who have not been identified by the police, are said to have been involved in the exploitation. The trial continues.

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