Eight men from Rochdale have been charged with grooming and abusing two young girls after one of the alleged victims attended a parenting course as an adult and made drastic claims of abuse from the age of 12.
She and her friend were treated as “mere objects that defendants could use, abuse, humiliate and then throw away” between the ages of 12 and 13, a jury at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court has been told.
The men deny 80 allegations dating back to 2002 and 2006, when some of the defendants were teenagers. Men are currently between 34 and 67 years old.
The younger woman told police she had been abused daily since the age of 12 after meeting Mohammed Ghani, who was 17 or 18 at the time. She said she initially thought the couple were in a “real relationship”. He was picking her up from school, she told police.
She described how, in addition to regularly raping her, he “offered” her to his friends in parks, underpasses, moors and other public places around Rochdale.
It is claimed that if she refused to have sex with one of them, he and his friends would humiliate her. On one occasion, several men, including another defendant, Aftar Khan, allegedly urinated on her from a wall while she was performing oral sex on another man. The humiliation came after she refused to perform oral sex on Khan, the court heard.
“Ghani and his friends laughed at her as she left the park covered in urine,” prosecutor Neil Usher told the court. “She describes the experience as humiliating and feels like a piece of meat.”
Khan, who is now 34, would have been a teenager then, and the girl was 13 or 14. He denies having committed three rapes, three indecency charges with a child, and two counts of sexual penetration with a child.
On another occasion, one of Ghani’s friends reportedly pulled down the girl’s pants when she passed out after drinking vodka and attacked her with a bottle of brandy. Another man allegedly filmed the humiliation, and Ghani’s friends – including co-defendant Insar Hussain – heard laughter in the background. The girl later learned that the recording was widely distributed in the Rochdale area, the court heard.
“After this incident, Mohammed Ghani’s group threatened her that if she did not agree to have sex with them, they would send the video to her mother,” Usher told the jury.
On another occasion, Ghani took her to Syke Moor above Rochdale to drink vodka and have sex with him and his friends. She told police that she reluctantly agreed to have sex with Hussain while Ghani and another man, known as Doc, laughed at her. Hussain “high-five” his friends after having sex with a then 12-year-old girl, the court heard.
When she refused to have sex with the Doctor, she was called a “bitch” and a “slag” and thrown out of the car, the court heard. Ghani drove off, leaving her alone on the way home.
Ghani’s older brother, 49-year-old Jahn Shahid Ghani, is also on trial, charged with eight counts of rape, eight counts of sexual penetration with a child and one count of leading a child to sexual activity. He is accused of forcing a younger girl to have a threesome with him and an older woman and filming the abuse.
Hussain is also accused of trafficking a younger girl by arranging for her to have sex with a much older man named Mohammed Iqbal, who is now 66 and would then be around 50. Iqbal denies two allegations of paying for sexual services from a girl under 18.
Greater Manchester Police launched an investigation into the alleged abuse in 2015 after a younger woman, then 25, attended a parenting course. As part of the course, she prepared a written presentation that included the following excerpt: “I was abused every day for six years. I was 12 years old when they started bullying me, feeding me alcohol and drugs, mistreating me and passing me on to friends. I had no choice but to do as they told me otherwise I would have been beaten and raped. They did what they liked, made videos of me being blackmailed. If I told anyone, they would share the videos. They sent the video around Rochdale anyway, and I was branded for it.
The jury heard that when she was 14 or 15, Ghani got her drunk and asked to have sex with his cousin at Springfield Park in Rochdale.
“The man was in his 30s and was on holiday from Pakistan. Ghani asked her to have sex with him because he had never had sex with a white girl before. Ghani said she had better not let him down and should “do it for the team”. [The complainant] she said at the time that she would do anything for him, underestimating the consequences of what she was doing at that age,” Usher told the jury.
Ghani then asked her to marry the man in exchange for £5,000 so he could obtain British citizenship, the court heard. she refused.
The applicants had a “very troubled childhood”, said Usher. The younger girl had a “strained relationship” with her mother and had been drinking and smoking marijuana since the age of 12. In three years, starting at the age of 13, a second girl was reported missing to the police from her home at at least 83 times.
“The prosecution alleges that each defendant exploited the fact that the two girls were clearly very young, vulnerable and damaged children for their own sexual gratification. The girls were mere objects that the defendants could use, abuse, humiliate and then throw away,” Usher told the jury.
Mohammed Ghani, 37, of Bamford Way, Rochdale, denies 10 counts of rape, five counts of sexual penetration with a child, two counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of indecency with a child and two counts of a criminal offence.
Insar Hussain, 36, of Bishop Street, Rochdale, is charged with seven counts of rape, two counts of sexual intercourse with a child, three counts of indecency with a child, four counts of sexual penetration with a child and trafficking for sexual exploitation.
The other defendants are 37-year-old Ikhlaq Yousaf and 34-year-old Ali Razza Hussain Kasmi and 39-year-old Martin Rhodes. The process continues.