Oxford MailTuesday, Jan 15: Bullfinch trial may take three months (From Oxford Mail)

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Tuesday, Jan 15: Bullfinch trial may take three months

Oxford Mail: Senior Investigating Officer Simon Morton outside the Old Bailey in London Senior Investigating Officer Simon Morton outside the Old Bailey in London

THE trial of nine men accused of being part of a child prostitution ring may take three months.

The defendants stood in the Old Bailey dock yesterday for the first day of a trial that was originally estimated to last eight weeks.

But on a day when certain administrative and ‘housekeeping’ matters were discussed, the Judge, Peter Rook, said it may last 12 weeks.

The defendants, who are aged between 24 and 38, deny a total of 51 counts that include allegations of child rape, trafficking for sexual exploitation and arranging or facilitating child prostitution.

The crimes are alleged to have been committed against girls aged between 11 and 16 and date between 2004 and 2012.

The men were arrested after police raids across Oxford last year under Thames Valley Police’s Operation Bullfinch, which was headed by Senior Investigating Officer Simon Morton.

A provisional jury of seven men and five women was yesterday selected, but will not be formally sworn in until this morning.

Noel Lucas, prosecuting, will then give his opening statement, laying out the Crown’s allegations.

That is expected to take up to two days.

While Judge Rook gave a different potential timescale for the trial, he did say he expected it to finish by Friday, April 12. He told courtroom eight the first witness would give evidence next Monday morning.

The court’s press section was full with journalists yesterday and the benches were packed with 19 lawyers.

Sitting furthest right in the dock, Kamar Jamil, 27, wore a dark blue shirt buttoned-up to the collar. His hair was cut short and he had facial hair on his chin.

To his left was short-haired Akhtar Dogar, 32, who wore a light grey jumper zipped up to his neck. His brother Anjum, 30, who also has short black hair, sat next to him in a light turquoise jumper over a white shirt.

Assad Hussain, 32, who has a shaved head, wore a navy blue Adidas tracksuit top over a light blue shirt.

Mohammed Karrar, 38, who faces seven rape charges, wore a buttoned-up black suit over a white shirt. He had a goatee beard and short hair.

Short-haired Bassam Karrar, 32, also wore a suit with a white shirt.

To his left sat Mohammed Hussain, 24, who was dressed in a white shirt with thin black stripes. Next to him was 27-year-old Zeeshan Ahmed who had a trimmed beard, thick glasses, and wore a light green shirt.

On the far left was Bilal Ahmed, 26, who wore black rimmed glasses and a white shirt.

The Crown Prosecution Service yesterday added another count to the 50-count indictment, giving the jury a chance to choose to convict Mohammed Karrar of conspiracy to rape or with conspiracy to commit sexual activity with a child.

The court will not sit tomorrow while Judge Rook attends a funeral.

The trial continues.

  • Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire County Council have a special confidential helpline for anyone concerned about a child who may be at risk of sexual exploitation. The police and council team are available to take calls from anyone with concerns about their children or children they know. The helpline number is 01865 266255.
  • Go to oxfordmail.co.uk/bullfinch for live coverage of the trial every day or follow it on Twitter via @TheOxfordMail

THE ACCUSED.

  • Kamar Jamil, 27, of Aldrich Road, Summertown, Oxford, denies four rapes, three charges of conspiracy to rape, two of arranging or facilitating child prostitution, and one of trafficking for sexual exploitation.
  • Akhtar Dogar, 32, of Tawney Street, East Oxford, denies six rapes, three charges of conspiracy to rape, three of arranging or facilitating child prostitution, and trafficking for sexual exploitation.
  • Anjum Dogar, 30, of Tawney Street, East Oxford, denies four rapes, three charges of conspiracy to rape, three of arranging or facilitating child prostitution, and trafficking for sexual exploitation.
  • Assad Hussain, 32, of Ashhurst Way, Rose Hill, Oxford, denies two charges of conspiracy to rape and three of sexual activity with a child.
  • Mohammed Karrar, 38, of Cowley Road, Oxford, denies seven rapes, four charges of conspiracy to rape, an alternative charge of conspiracy to commit sexual activity with a child, two of trafficking for sexual exploitation, two of arranging or facilitating child prostitution, assault, conspiracy to assault, using an instrument to procure a miscarriage, and supplying a Class A drug to another.
  • Bassam Karrar, 33, of no fixed address, denies three rapes, three charges of conspiracy to rape, two charges of arranging or facilitating child prostitution, trafficking for sexual exploitation, and conspiracy to assault.
  • Mohammed Hussain, 24, of Horspath Road, Cowley, Oxford, denies rape, conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child, and two charges of sexual activity with a child.
  • Zeeshan Ahmed, 27, of Palmer Road, Wood Farm, Oxford, denies two charges of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child and two charges of sexual activity with a child.
  • Bilal Ahmed, 26, of Suffolk Road, Maidenhead, denies conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child and sexual activity with a child.

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