Woman accused of lying about grooming gang says she loved alleged trafficker
A woman accused of lying about being the victim of an Asian grooming gang has told a court she was in love with her alleged trafficker.
Eleanor Williams, 22, gave evidence at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday.
She told the jury she met Mohammed Ramzan, a man she alleges groomed and trafficked her, at a birthday party in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, when she was 12 years old.
Williams said she went on to work for Mr Ramzan in his restaurant, Mr Elephant, and he became her “boyfriend”.
Louise Blackwell KC, defending, asked Williams what happened to make her view the restaurant owner as her boyfriend.
Williams said: “We had sex.”
She told the court: “I thought it was love, I thought he loved me, so I was happy about the situation.”
But, she said Mr Ramzan started getting “more angry” and wanted her to do “sexual favours” for his friends.
She described being at a private function at the restaurant, where about 40 men were attending a Ramadan feast, when Mr Ramzan asked her to have sex with his friend.
She said: “He told me it was a big deal, that his friend was going to commit suicide, that he’d love me even more if I done it, and I believed him.”
Williams said she felt “dirty” afterwards.
Asked how many times she had sex with that man and over what time period, Williams said: ” I couldn’t count how many times but from being 12 to being 20.”
She said a couple of weeks after the first incident Mr Ramzan, also known as Rammi, asked her to have sex with the man again.
She said: “I couldn’t say no because he’d just get angry, I mean physically violent.”
She said on the second occasion she went upstairs in the restaurant with the man and another man came into the room as well.
Williams told the court she screamed for Mr Ramzan but he was “nowhere to be found”.
Asked if she spoke to him about what happened, she said: “He’d promised me it would only just be a one-time thing and when it happened more than once I questioned that and he said ‘well I love you for doing it so it doesn’t matter how many times you do it’. I couldn’t really argue with that.”
She said after that “more and more men” were introduced to her at the restaurant or at different addresses she would be taken to.
She said: “It was confusing. I didn’t like what I was doing but at the same time I loved Rammi, so…”
She described how Mr Ramzan would pick her up from school in a BMW and take her to addresses where other men were present.
Williams told the court she had a clear memory of the first time she was taken to a house, when there had been eight other men there and she had sex with “two or three” of them.
She said she felt “dirty and horrible”.
Asked why she did not tell anybody at the time, she said: “It was hard to explain and I didn’t want to. I hated myself.”
Williams, of Teasdale Road, Barrow, denies eight counts of doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice.
She had faced seven charges but on Tuesday the jury was told the indictment would be amended to separate some of the allegations into an additional count.
The trial continues.