Man allegedly raped girl in lift at Meadowhall

Three man have denied being involved in the alleged grooming and sexual abuse of two teenage schoolgirls.

By Jon Cooper
Thursday, 8th October 2020, 5:11 pm

A Sheffield Crown Court trial has heard how Azad Raja, of Adney Street, Sheffield, Yasser Hussain, of Norborough Road, Tinsley, Sheffield, both aged 37, and a third defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have been charged with sexual offences relating to two complainants who were aged around 13 at the time of the alleged crimes.

Raja has pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault, Yasser Hussain has pleaded not guilty to one count of rape and two counts of indecent assault, and the third defendant has denied two counts of indecent assault.

One of the girls was allegedly abused by Raja and Yasser Hussain and the second girl was allegedly abused by the unnamed third defendant.

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Two teenage girls were allegedly groomed and sexually-exploitated and abused by three men after they used to visit the Meadowhall Shopping Centre, in Sheffield, pictured.

Jayne Louise Beckett, prosecuting, said: “This case which may date back as early as 2001 involves the sexual abuse and sexploitation of two girls when they were still at school when perhaps as young as 13.”

Ms Beckett added the schoolgirls would hang around shopping centres, in particular Meadowhall, and they were targeted by adult males for the purpose of sex, and drink and drugs played a significant part.

The two complainants, who are now adults and cannot be named for legal reasons, gave alleged accounts to police in 2016 and it was stated the first girl had met the defendants through an adult friend.

Ms Beckett said: “The complainants have given accounts of what happened all those years ago at the hands of these defendants in several video-recorded interviews with the police.”

Sheffield Crown Court, pictured, has heard during an on-going trial how three man have denied sexual offences relating to the alleged abuse and sexploitation of two teenage schoolgirls.

Meadowhall was described by Ms Beckett as a “big draw” for the girls but the males who congregated there had a “more seedy agenda”.

Raja allegedly groomed the first girl for about a year buying her gifts and perfume and created a rift between the girl and her family making her dependent upon him.

He allegedly sexually assaulted her twice and raped her in her bedroom and again in his bedroom and again in a lift at Meadowhall.

Ms Beckett said: “This is a shocking example of a young girl being targeted by an older male.”

Yasser Hussain also allegedly twice abused the first girl and allegedly raped her, according to Ms Beckett, after she had found him attractive and she was easily manipulated.

The second girl, who used to go to Meadowhall with the first girl, met the unnamed third defendant and he allegedly sexually assaulted her twice with oral sex including one incident on a bus.

Ms Beckett said: “These were teenagers, schoolgirls, being manipulated by much older men.”

She added both were exploited by the defendants.

Raja told police he had a relationship with the first girl but it had not been sexual and she had told him she was 16-years-old.

Yasser Hussain told police he had met one of the girls through a girlfriend of a friend, and the unnamed third defendant claimed he did not know the first girl.

The four-week trial started on October 1 and continues.

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