OLD BAILEY TRIAL: Child sexual exploitation on a ‘massive scale’ as prosecution presents its case

Scales of Justice
Scales of Justice
  • Defendants from Aylesbury, Milton Keynes and Buckingham stand trial at Old Bailey
  • Prosecution claims serious sexual abuse of two young girls took place in Aylesbury

Accusations of child sexual exploitation in Aylesbury on a massive scale were laid before eleven accused men at the Old Bailey today.

Vikram Singh, Harmohan Nangpal, Asif Hussain, Arshad Jani, Mohammed Imran, Faisel Iqbal, Taimoor Khan, Akbari Khan, Jerome Joe, Sajid Ali and Sohail Qamar began their eight week trial today.

Both girls were from unstable backgrounds making them perfect targets

Oliver Saxby - prosecution

This morning the jury of twelve men and women were sworn in and Judge John Bevan outlined to them the importance of their duty.

The court then heard from prosecutor Oliver Saxby who outlined the case for the crown,and told how the two young girls had been manipulated by the men into believing they were in relationships.

One of the girls estimates that she had sex with 60 men between the ages of 12 and 16.Mr Saxby said: “This case concerns child sexual exploitation on a massive scale. It features two young girls who were sexually exploited and sexually abused from the age of 12 or 13. The sexual abuse included three different types of rape.

“Both girls were from unstable backgrounds, making them perfect targets. Their lives were ‘off the rails’. They were looking for excitement. For attention. For somewhere to hang out, away from school and home. They were wanting to feel grown up and looked after. And they were easy prey for a group of men wanting casual sexual gratification that was easy, regular and readily available.”

As part of the prosecution’s opening speech Mr Saxby quoted one of the accusers, who will be known as Woman A.

Woman A said: “It wasn’t particularly me looking for them. It was them looking for me. It’s just that they pass your number around...Or you’re with one of them and they invite three or four of their friends round and then you have to sleep with them.”

The court heard that Vikram Singh, 45 from Cannock Road, Aylesbury first met Woman A in the toy department of Woolworths when she was 12 years old. She had gone into town with a friend to watch the Christmas lights being switched on.

The pair exchanged numbers and Singh took Woman A to the cinema to see one of the Santa Claus movies, during the showing they sat at the back.

Woman A says that Singh tried to touch her leg and kiss her. Afterwards they went to McDonalds.

In the weeks that followed Singh lavished Woman A with small gifts like food, drink and DVDs, the court heard.

This led to Singh visiting Woman A’s home while her mother was out, and it is alleged they had sex.

This was to be the start of a cycle of abuse the prosecution says. The pair would meet two or three times a week, sometimes in a car or round the back of an Aylesbury nursing home.

On one occasion Woman A alleges that Singh gave her a drink which made her feel drowsy and numb, and she felt like he was controlling her.

The court heard that around this time other men started calling the young girl, asking if she was a virgin and if she wanted to have sex with them.

Woman A claims that Singh said he didn’t know anything about the phone calls, but smiled as he denied it.

When Woman A told one caller her age he is alleged to have responded “I like that age.”

The prosecution says that the last time Singh and Woman A had sexual contact was in 2008 when she was around 14 years old.

By this time she was already spending time with other defendant Mohammed Imran, and she claims that Singh became angry and raped her in his car, after picking her up as she walked along Aylesbury’s Buckingham Road.

According to the prosecution Singh then dropped her off at Imran’s home, and when she told him she had been raped he accused her of lying.

Singh and the other defendants were arrested in September as part of Thames Valley Police’s Operation Articulate investigation into child sexual exploitation.

Harmohan Nangpal, 41 used to have a stall on Aylesbury Market selling smoking products. He claims that rules he imposed banning children under 16 from buying the products may have led to his accuser having a grudge against him.

But Woman A and the prosection say that Nangpal was one of the men who approached her when she started having sex with Singh. It is alleged that the pair had sex in a white van close to the market when she was under the age of consent.

Asif Hussain, 33, who lived in Milton Keynes at the time of his arrest, met Woman A when she was still being abused by Singh, the court was told.

As well as committing abuse on the young girl himself, Pakistani-born Hussain is accused of trying to sell her to another man.

Woman A and the prosecution say that the last time he saw her they had sex, and he told her he wanted her to meet someone.

He led her to the basement in the block of flats where he lived, and according to Woman A an older man she says ‘looked like Osama Bin Laden’ was watching pornography. Hussain then told Woman A that the man wanted to have sex with her at which point she ‘freaked out’ and ran away.

Arshad Jani is accused of having sex with Woman A around a time when she was aged 13 and 14.

He lived in Aylesbury above what was referred to in court at the Madina Shop and worked as a taxi driver.

A condom which allegedly contains DNA evidence linking Woman A to Jani is being used as evidence.

Mohammed Imran, 38, is described by Woman A as ‘the man who sold me and passed me around’.

According to the prosecution it is not clear how the pair met, but Woman A says that he sometimes demanded sex ten times a day.

He is accused of three multiple incident counts of rape, and three counts of sex with a child.

The court heard how that although Woman A pretended to be older at the beginning, there can be little doubt that Imran and the other defendants knew how old she was. At times she would go to Imran’s address wearing her school uniform.

Mr Saxby said: “Aside from having sex with her himself he would also farm her out to friends and acquaintances. After a while Woman A told the police ‘Imran’s friends began to turn up while I was there, the men had sex with me.’”

Woman A believes that when she was with Imran she slept with between 15 and 20 of his friends.

Faisel Iqbal, a cousin of Arshad Jani, met Woman A when his relative was living in Buckingham Road, Aylesbury.

Woman A says that while they were having sex Imran and other friends watched them through a window, to which Iqbal just laughed and carried on.

Iqbal, 32, is charged together with Mohammed Imran of conspiracy to rape and conspiracy to commit a sexual assault against a child.

Taimoor and Akbari Khan, lived in Prebendal Avenue, Aylesbury, at the time of the alleged crimes.

Woman A thinks that she was about 13 when she started seeing Akbari, and says she had sex with him over a six month period.

She says he often drugged her to facilitate the abuse.

The court heard how other men would have sex with Woman A while she was with Akbari, and that she remembers feeling numb after being drugged.

A second alleged victim Woman B, a friend of Woman A would go to the Khan’s address almost every day after school, where they were given alcohol and drugs according to the prosecution.

Woman B also claims that she was abused at the house by Taimoor and Akbari, and said in a statement that: “They made me feel good. They used to say I was beautiful, pretty. They win your trust.

“We were always made to feel older than we were. It wasn’t normal but at the time it was normal.”

The men are charged with counts of rape and sexual activity with a child as well as conspiracy to rape.

Jerome Joe, of Pightle Crescent, Buckingham claims he has never met Woman A, but she says they met when she was about 14.

The prosecution alleges that he had sex with Woman A once or twice a month for around six months, causing internal cuts to the teenager.

Joe says that his arrest is a case of mistaken identity and that the offender is another man who looks like him.

The jury were told how Sohail Qamar, 41, had known woman A since she was about 13, through Mohammed Imran.

He is charged with her rape, and one count of sex with a child.

Qamar is also charged with a second count of rape, and a count of actual bodily harm.

The case continues...