TWO men have gone on trial accused of raping three underage girls who had been given alcohol and cannabis to make them more compliant.
Leeds man Bilal Hussain and Shazad Rehman, who is said to come from Halifax, both face a series of allegations relating to the repeated rape of one 14-year-old victim and further rape charges involving two other girls also aged 14.
Opening the case against the two defendants at Bradford Crown Court yesterday, prosecutor Michelle Colborne QC said Hussain, 23, and 30-year-old Rehman had pursued teenage girls, mainly in the Keighley area, over the course of 2010 and 2011.
“They acted together travelling from their various home addresses in Leeds and Halifax to the Keighley town centre where they specifically targeted vulnerable girls all underage,” alleged Miss Colborne.
Miss Colborne said some of the girls, none of whom can be identified, had difficult backgrounds or were emotionally needy and may have been seeking attention.
Miss Colborne said the supply of cannabis formed a large part of the offending behaviour: “Why were Bilal Hussain and Shazad Rehman travelling from home at all?,” said Miss Colborne. “Why were they seeking out regularly the company of girls half the age of Shazad Rehman? Was the giving over of cannabis and vodka an act of friendship?”
A third Halifax man, Yassar Adalat, 31, has denied being part of the conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
The trial is expected to last more than six weeks.