TV news report leads to rape charges

A DEWSBURY man is part of a gang of 10 men who are accused of raping a 16-year-old girl over a two-year period.

Kieran Harris is on trial at Bradford Crown Court alongside nine other men, who have denied 25 offences including rape and sexual assault against the girl between July 2009 and July 2011.

Harris, 26, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of rape.

The group were arrested when the teenager asked her partner to call BBC Look North after watching a programme relating to the Rotherham sex abuse scandal.

It is claimed that the girl was 14 and lived in a care home at the time of the abuse.

A jury heard that she had run away from the home with another girl, taking a bottle of vodka with them, when one of the men approached them and began grooming them for sex.

The prosecution allege that the girls were subjected to a range of sexual abuse at the hands of the 10 men.

Prosecutor Kama Melly QC described how police had spoken to one of the victims after they found her number during Operation Kellerabbey – an investigation into sexual exploitation in Keighley.

She told police of her experience growing up and said she had been given alcohol and drugs and had become an addict.

Ms Melly told how nothing was done by police until the victim rang the television studio years later. Her name was given to safeguarding officers and they started an investigation.

The 10 men were then arrested and charged with sexual offences against her.

Concluding her opening statement Ms Melly said: “Girls in care don’t always see the exploitation and manipulation but that does not mean the exploitation was not occurring.”

Of the nine other men, seven are from Bradford: Basharat Khaliq, 37, pleaded not guilty to one charge of assault by penetration against the first alleged victim and five charges of rape against a second woman.

Saeed Akhtar, 54, denies two charges of causing or inciting child prostitution and one charge of rape.

Naveed Akhtar, 42, and Izar Hussain, 31, deny three charges of rape. Hussain also pleaded not guilty to an allegation of attempted rape.

Mohammed Usman, 30, denies two charges of rape, while Zeeshan Ali, 31, denies a single charge of sexual assault.

Parvaze Ahmed, 35, pleaded not guilty to three charges of rape.

The other two: Fahim Iqbal, 26, of no fixed abode, pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting rape, and Yasar Majid, 36, of Milton Keynes, denies one charge of rape.

The trial continues.

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