Trial fixed for 25 men accused of child sex abuse

Demonstrators gathered and shouted abuse outside Halifax Magistrates Court on the first court appearance of the 25 men charged over the alleged serious sexual abuse of two girls in Halifax, also a large number of police were in attendance to control the crowds as the men arrived and departed from court
Demonstrators gathered and shouted abuse outside Halifax Magistrates Court on the first court appearance of the 25 men charged over the alleged serious sexual abuse of two girls in Halifax, also a large number of police were in attendance to control the crowds as the men arrived and departed from court

A group of 25 men have appeared before Leeds Crown Court charged with a range of sexual offences against two girls.

The men, who appeared at Calderdale Magistrates’ two weeks ago, made their first appearance at crown court yesterday before Judge Geoffrey Marson QC accused of a total of 59 charges, which include rape, sexual activity with a child under 16 and trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, relating to two girls - who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The alleged offences date between 2008 and 2011.

The girls, who were in care at time of the arrests, were as young as 13 at the time of the allegations.

Four trial dates have been set for 2016.

The men, who are from Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford, Newport, Derby and Cheshire, will return to court on June 23 and June 24 for plea case and management hearings.

Twenty three of the men were given conditional bail to reside at addresses - which the Courier can not reveal for legal reasons - not to contact the victims, directly or indirectly, and to report to a named police station twice a week.

Two of the men were remanded in custody on unrelated charges.

Before the hearing there was a demonstration by members from the English Defence League as the defendants made their way into court.