Thursday, February 7, 2013
ONE of four men accused of abducting a 13-year-old girl, taking her to Suffolk and forcing her to become a sex slave told police he had encouraged her to resist the other men’s advances.
Surin Uddin, 28, from Bethnal Green, is part of a gang standing trial at Norwich Crown Court accused of conspiracy to traffick and various sex offences.
The jury has heard that the girl, from a “troubled” family, was subjected to a string of attacks over four days after being taken from her home in London to a house in Ipswich.
A statement, given to police by father-of-two Uddin shortly after his arrest, was read in court by prosecutor Riel Karmy-Jones. In it he said he had visited the house that the girl had been taken to and she told him she was 17 and gave him a false name.
He added: “I was shocked when my solicitor said she was 13. I told her straight that I’m not into young girls or anything. If I’d known she as 13, I’d have called the police straight away but I didn’t know that.”
Describing a conversation with the alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, he added: “She told me she had sex with Mr Sheikh. I said ‘Are you serious?’ She said Ali had been forcing her to have sex, and she told him ‘No, I don’t want to have sex’. She asked ‘Would you help me?’ She basically doesn’t want to live in that house, I told her to go back to her parents. I told her whatever he says to you, don’t do it. Whatever you hear from your heart, don’t do it.”
Uddin insisted he had never had sexual contact with the girl and warned her “these boys are evil” and he would help her if she contacted the police.
During his interview, Sheikh gave “no comment” answers to a number of questions, including inquiries about whether he knew the victim and if he was aware of her age. In a later interview, he said: “I never knew the girl. A friend of mine met her in the street. That’s all.”
The four defendants all deny conspiracy to traffick within the UK for sexual exploitation between July 1 and July 13 last year. They also all deny conspiracy to rape, conspiracy to engage a child in sexual activity and being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug to the girl between the same dates.
Uddin, of St Matthew’s Row, Bethnal Green, east London; Mohamed Sheikh, 31, of Seaton Point in Hackney, London; and Abdul Hammed, 46, of Wellington Street, Ipswich, each deny two counts of rape. Sheikh also denies causing a child to engage in sexual activity. Hamza Ali, 38, of Chingford Road, Waltham Forest, London, denies one count of rape and one of sexual assault.