Man ‘hooked girls with alcohol’

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Published: Thursday 19th February 2015 by The News Editor

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A married businessman groomed vulnerable under-age girls by giving them money, gifts or cigarettes before plying them with alcohol, a court has heard.

Restaurant boss Mohammed Khubaib, 43, had a “persistent and almost predatory interest” in teenage girls, the Old Bailey was told.

He is accused of forcing a 14-year-old girl to perform a sex act on him while his friend Manase Motaung, 32, is said to have raped a 16-year-old.

Khubaib also faces 11 counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation within the UK in relation to 11 girls aged from 12 to 15 between November 2010 and January 2013. South-African born Motaung is accused alongside him on seven of the trafficking charges, involving six girls.

The alleged activities, which took place in Peterborough, involved girls being befriended and then “hooked” with alcohol – normally vodka – in an attempt to make them “compliant” to sexual advances , the court heard.

Khubaib, who lived in the city with his wife and children, would pursue his interest “away from his home and family”, using his restaurant as a “focal point” for the teenage girls he targeted, the court heard.

Mark Dennis QC, prosecuting, said: “As a middle-aged Asian man, he had nothing in common with these young girls. His unhealthy association with them was unknown to their parents or those who had parental control.”

The girls were “vulnerable” because of factors including their age, background, circumstances or unsettled schooling and Khubaib purported to act as their “friend and helper”, Mr Dennis said.

“He would seek to entice them into associating with him by providing them with alcohol, cigarettes or food, even money and small gifts on occasions.”

Khubaib, who also ran a lettings agency, would drive girls to flats in his 4×4 and once there they would be “plied with alcohol and entertained by himself and his friends”, Mr Dennis said.

He said: “It was a form of grooming – bringing the girls into a frame of mind whereby they would be prepared to engage in sexual activity; using alcohol as a disinhibitor or lure so that either on this or the next occasion these under-age girls would engage in sexual activity and become accustomed to so doing – all for the sexual pleasure and satisfaction of himself and any other adult with him.”

Motaung was said to be “one such friend who shared that common interest” and gave his “tacit or expressed” agreement to arrangements made by his co-defendant.

Khubaib, who was born in Pakistan, is said to have raped a 14-year-old girl in August 2007 by forcing her to perform oral sex on him after she was given alcohol.

The jury heard a friend of the girl was “rewarded” with £5 after she agreed to perform a sex act on Khubaib.

When the alleged rape victim resisted his advances he had complained that he “spends all this money and gets nothing in return”, the court heard.

Motaung allegedly raped a drunk 16-year-old victim after meeting her at a “grooming – drinking session” in October 2012.

The jury heard details of the trafficking allegations.

Khubaib would buy one girl and her friends McDonald’s meals and tobacco, as well as giving her small sums of money and a £40 bunch of flowers for her 15th birthday, the court heard.

Khubaib told the girl he wanted her to be his wife, saying that he would “choose her over everyone else”, while he told another 15-year-old she had “beautiful eyes”, the jury was told. When she rebuffed him, saying he was too old for her, he was said to have replied: “Age doesn’t matter.”

Khubaib allegedly offered another girl £60, telling her: “You make me happy, I’ll give you money.” Two weeks later he allegedly increased the offer to £90. The girl refused.

In January 2013, Khubaib picked up two friends – one aged 12 and the other aged 14 – in his seven-seater car and took them to a McDonald’s, Mr Dennis said. The girls became uncomfortable when Khubaib got into a row on his phone and slipped away.

Later that month the defendants were arrested at a terraced house in Peterborough, where police found two girls aged 14.

Khubaib said in police interviews that his association with all of the girls was innocent and said he had not acted in any improper way, denying any sexual contact with the girl he is said to have raped.

Motaung also denied any wrongdoing, and stated that he had consensual sex with the rape complainant.

The two defendants, both from Peterborough, deny all the charges against them. None of the complainants or other girls in the case can be identified for legal reasons.

The trial continues.

Published: Thursday 19th February 2015 by The News Editor

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