A MAN accused of having sex with a child "assumed" she was over 16 as she never went to school and stayed out late, the Old Bailey heard this morning.

Mohammed Hussain, one of nine men accused of running a sex exploitation ring in Oxford, admits having sex with the complainant known as Girl 5 but denies he knew her age.

He said he would have expected her parents to keep her home at night if she had been under the age of consent.

Girl 5, now 16, claims she had sex with Mohammed and Assad Hussain, and cousins Zeeshan and Bilal Ahmed between the ages of 12 and 14.

But when arrested last July, Mohammed Hussain, now 24, told police she said she was 17.

He denies rape, two charges of sexual activity with a child, and conspiracy to commit sexual activity with a child.

In a prepared statement, he said: "I accept I have had sexual intercourse with (Girl 5). "However, any sexual activity ever engaged in was with her agreement at all times and I believed her to be over 16."

He added: "I believe that (Girl 5) was over 16 as she told me she was 17.

"She was fully developed and looked 17.

"Also, she was always out late at night and I assumed that she was over 16, as if she was younger then I would have thought her parents would have made her stay home.

"In the time I knew her she never went to school and was never in school uniform which suggested she must have been 16 or over.

"She told me she had been in the sixth form but had been kicked out."

Hussain also admitted he had known the alleged victim's sister but said she never told him her sibling's age.

And he said he was never violent or gave the girl drugs and alcohol so she would have sex with him.

The jury were told the prosecution case will now finish on Thursday and the defence argument will begin on Monday.

The defendants deny all charges. The trial continues.