Fifteen more men in court over Halifax grooming case
Another 15 men have pleaded not guilty to historic sexual offences against a West Yorkshire schoolgirl following six others who denied charges involving her earlier this week.
A total of 25 men have been charged and 18 of the defendants attended Leeds Crown Court yesterday(wed) for plea and case management hearings. The charges were not put to three of them at the request of their counsel.
One man from Halifax also denied an offence against a second girl, the only charge involving her.
The defendants have been split into groups and at least four separate trials are due to be held next year. A court order is in place preventing publication of the full addresses of any defendants.
Mohammed Ramzan, 34, from Bradford denied three charges, trafficking the schoolgirl complainant for sexual exploitation on April 11, 2011 by arranging or facilitating travel within the UK, raping her between April 10 and April 13, 2011 and conspiring with Khalid Zaman to engage in sexual activity with a child.
Zaman, 37, also from Bradford denied conspiracy with Ramzan to engage in sexual activity, two charges of raping the girl on April 12, 2011 and supplying her with the drug mephedrone on April 11 that year.
Hedar Ali, 35 from Nantwich, Cheshire pleaded not guilty to four charges, they were two alleged offences of trafficking the girl for sexual exploitation between 10 June and 21 July 2011 by arranging or facilitating travel for her within the UK and two charges of raping her.
Mohammed Janjuha, 34, from Bradford pleaded not guilty to raping the girl between July 20, 2009 and 21 July, 2011.
They are due to be among defendants in the third trial next year.
Tahir Mahmood, 42 from Halifax who denied two charges of sexual activity with a child involving the same schoolgirl and a further charge of sexual assault on another girl will be among defendants in the second trial.
Other defendants on that trial include Tauqeer Butt, 30 from Halifax who denied four charges of sexual activity with a child between 20 July 2009 and 21 July 2011.
Haaris Ahmed, 31 from Halifax who denied two charges of sexual activity with a child under 16 between July 20 2009 and 21 July 2011 and denied one charge of supplying her with cannabis but admitted a second.
Arshad Majid, 25 from Shipley and Christopher Mulqueen Bennett, 36 of Gwent, Newport who each pleaded not guilty to one charge of sexual activity with a child between 20 July 2009 and 21 July 2011.
Zameer Asif, 25 from Halifax sexual activity with a child between June 1 and December 31, 2010.
Azeem Subhani, 24 from Halifax denied two charges of sexual activity with the schoolgirl as did Amaar Ali Ditta, 26, also from Halifax.
Mohammed Ali Ahmed, 42 and Sikander Malik, 30, both from Halifax each denied one charge of sexual activity with the schoolgirl.
Talib Sadiq, 30 of Halifax denied two charges of sexual activity with a child between 20 July 2010 and 21 July 2011 when the girl was 15.
Charges were not put to Mohammed Askar 32, from Bradford, Atif Ali, 32 and Haider Ali, 40 from Halifax.
Six other men from Halifax and Derby pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to offences against the schoolgirl complainant when the charges were not put to a man from Huddersfield.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said two days had been fixed in August this year for a ground rules hearing when questions are agreed for cross-examination of the schoolgirl complainant before the videoing of that cross-examination takes place in September.
The evidence of child or vulnerable complainants has been recorded on video to be played as their evidence in chief at trial for several years and Leeds Crown Court is currently one of the centres piloting a new system where the cross-examination is also done and videod in advance of a trial.
The defendants were all bailed until the next hearing in August.