LAWYERS were paid more than £14,000 to monitor the Old Bailey grooming gang trial for Oxfordshire County Council.

Five of the six victims of the Oxford child sex ring were in the care of county social services when they were abused.

And figures obtained by the Oxford Mail through the Freedom of Information Act show the authority paid a law firm £200 a day to sit in on the 18-week trial.

In all, the council paid £14,200 for 73 days of the trial, which saw seven men jailed for a total of 95 years for grooming and abusing the vulnerable girls between 2004 and January last year.

Defence barrister Khadim Al’Hassan, who defended the now jailed Anjum ‘Jammy’ Dogar in the trial, said he could see no reason for the council to send a lawyer to court. He said the money could have been better spent on providing support and assistance to vulnerable people in Oxford.

A county council spokesman said: “The council had been assisting in the prosecution in the preparation of the case by providing disclosure of information relating to the victims. The attendance of counsel was necessary to address any concerns arising out of that disclosure exercise.”