A TEENAGE girl was 'repeatedly and systematically raped and sexually abused' by a gang of predatory paedophiles, a court has heard.

A crown court how the majority of the sexual assaults on the victim happened at Accrington Market Hall.


A jury was told the girl was just 13 when the abuse started in 1997 and lasted for a period of five years.

Before and after being attacked the court heard how the girl, who can-not be named for legal reasons, was bribed with cannabis, cigarettes, cash and free clothes.

Prosecutor Tim Evans said: "The victim was known by them, she was in particular known by them to be damaged goods, her reputation as available and not someone who complained was shared by them and she was literally passed amongst them like some sort of commodity or plaything."

The jury at Burnley Crown Court was told how she first met defendant Abbas Khan, 59, of Hubie Street, Burnley, at his stall on the market following the death of her father.

Mr Evans told the jury how Khan befriended the victim and her mum before going on to rape and sexually assault the teenager in the back of a van parked at the market hall.

He would also perform sex acts on her in the gaps between the market stalls and walkways, the jury heard.

The jury was told that during the attacks another girl was often in the back of the van although she was not abused herself.

The prosecution allege that during those attacks Khan would put a curtain between the driver's cab and the back of the vehicle so nobody could see what he was doing to the victim.

The court was told how Khan introduced the victim to his son-in-law Ijaz Khan, 47, of Casterton Avenue, Burnley, and he went on to rape the victim in a house in Todmorden and sexually abuse her in the back of the van.

The victim, who is now 33, told police that before that rape she was a virgin and had felt suicidal afterwards, the court heard.

Mr Evans told the jury how the victim was introduced to a third man, Javid Raza, 59, of Crosshill Road, Blackburn, who went on to indecently assault her.

Raza, who the victim thought was around 37-years-old at the time of the abuse, ran a jeans stall at the market.

The court heard that Raza told the victim that he 'did not like white girls and preferred darker girls'.

The court was told how as a result of the abuse the victim, who the jury was told has a previous conviction for manslaughter after a fatal stabbing, was suspended from school, lost a significant amount of weight and started taking amphetamines.

Mr Evans said: "She just went along as she did not have the energy to say no.

"The abuse seemed to be happening 'more often than not'.

"She started to go to school less and less, she became very aggressive towards her mum and even punched her when she was pregnant with her younger brother.

"She explained the aggression by saying she felt that she was not being protected and that no-one was helping her."

Mr Evans will continue to open the case this morning when he will give details of the allegations against Amar Amin, 36, of an address in Manchester, and Nadeem Arif, 38, of St James Court, Blackburn, and Mohamed Rafique, 39, of Moss Avenue, Rochdale.

All the men deny the allegations against them and the court heard Rafique told police any sexual contact between himself and the victim was consensual.

Abbas Khan denies six counts of rape and 10 counts of indecent assault, Ijaz Khan denies one count of rape and eight counts of indecent assault and Raza denies six counts of indecent assault.

Amin and Arif both deny one count of rape and Rafique denies one count of rape and one count of indecent assault.

A seventh man accused of sexually assaulting the complainant was deemed medically unfit to stand trial. He will be dealt with at a later date.

The trial continues.