Tuesday, February 12, 2013
FOUR men accused of abducting a 13-year-old girl and forcing her to become their sex slave will not give evidence in court.
The girl, from a “troubled” family, was subjected to a string of assaults over four days after being trafficked from her home in London to Ipswich, prosecutor Riel Karmy-Jones told Norwich Crown Court.
Suran Uddin, 28, of St Matthew’s Row, Bethnal Green, London; Abdul Hammed, 46, of Wellington Street, Ipswich; Mohammed Sheikh, 31, of Seaton Point in Hackney, London; and Hamza Ali, 38, of Chilford Road, Waltham Forest, London, deny various sex offences.
Today the court heard that the men had declined to give evidence and their counsel said no other evidence will be called.
The case was adjourned until Friday for closing speeches before the jury retires.
Judge Nicholas Coleman instructed the jury to find Hammed not guilty of conspiracy to traffick in the UK following legal argument.
Charges of conspiracy to rape and conspiracy to engage a child in sexual activity were dropped against all defendants.
All four continue to deny an amended charge of supplying a class B drug to the victim.
Uddin, Sheikh and Ali deny conspiracy to traffick within the UK; Hammed denies two counts of rape; Sheikh denies two counts of rape and causing a child to engage in sexual activity; and Ali denies one count of rape and one of sexual assault.