Leeds Crown Court has heard that a group of 9 men and 1 woman “ groomed 4 vulnerable girls aged between 12 to 16 years old and treated them as objects to be used and abused at will.” The gang was described to the Court as treating the girls as “sexual commodities.”
The men and woman deny the charges against them which include the arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, trafficking for sexual exploitation and rape.
One of the men charged failed to attend at Court despite being aware of the trial’s start date. Judge Geoffrey Mason advised the Jury that they “must not speculate as to the reason for his absence.”
Prosecutor Richard Wright QC told the Court;
“The girls targeted by those men were children and the men knew that and they did not care about it for a moment.
These men cared only for themselves and viewed these girls as objects to be used and abused at will. You will readily understand that these vulnerable youngsters, who were also socially isolated, very rapidly found themselves drawn into a world in which they had little or no control of their lives.
They were unable to make truly free or informed choices about anything they did with these men. What they plainly had in common was their young age, their social isolation, and the fact that each of them was in their own way extremely vulnerable so that they were easy targets for abuse.”
There is here, regrettably, a sense that those in authority who handled the concerns of parents and friends expressed at the time of these offences did not do enough to engage with these girls and find out what was happening to them.”
The trial continues.
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