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Bullfinch: 'Social workers told what was going on'
MOST social workers looking after alleged victims of a child sex exploitation gang “were aware of what was going on”, a jury at the Old Bailey was told yesterday.
A statement from a school support worker was yesterday read at the trial of nine men accused of being involved in the child sex ring in Oxford, in which she spoke about young teenagers – including alleged victims identified as Girl 4 and 5 – talking about mixing with Asian men and taking drugs. She said: “It would be different groups from different years. A repetition of students saying the same thing. They all had specific needs, backgrounds, and emotional needs.”
In the statement from December last year, she said anything of note would be reported to social workers, adding: “Nine out of 10 of the social workers responsible for the individuals were aware of what was going on.”
Girl 4, who claims she was raped and prostituted by Mohammed and Bassam Karrar from the age of 11, attended the group sessions.
The support worker, who worked at the school for 10 years, said: “It was Mo this, Mo that.
“It was like he had a hold on her and she had a hold on him.”
The alleged victim once spoke about wanting to convert to Islam, the jury heard.
The counsellor said Girl 4 would be “protective” of other girls and tell them they needed to tell someone what was happening to them, She added: “She never considered she was as vulnerable as they were.”
Girl 5, now 16, claims she had sex with Zeeshan and Bilal Ahmed, and Mohammed and Assad Hussain, between the ages of 12 and 14.
The support worker said the teen was a “high priority” as she went missing “constantly”.
She said it was well known she was attracted to Asian men and the girl had even started to “act like she was Asian”.
She said an Asian pupil once came to a group session and accused the teen of “disgracing” the Asian community.
The support worker also described the girl as “self destructive”, “unsettled”, and said she had “major social and learning difficulties”.
Police would have to be called to the school to restrain her, the court heard.
Reading the statement, prosecutor Neil Moore said: “When she absconded she would take younger students with her.
“(Girl 5) would receive a call on her mobile phone and she would go around the school gathering younger female students.
“All these girls were ignorant and naive. They were highly vulnerable girls.”
But Girl 5 did not understand why she should not be hanging around with men, the jury heard.
The support worker said: “She was very easily led.
“At times she was not even on this planet.”
The counsellor said the girl lost weight and talked about pregnancy and sex disease tests.
She also said the child received sexually explicit text messages.
The court also heard how the defendants were identified as Thames Valley Police identification officer Richard Bull took the stand.
He said a friend of the alleged victims could not look at Mohammed Karrar’s face when it appeared on the screen.
All nine defendants deny all charges against them.
The trial continues.