In Depth

Rotherham gang ‘drugged and raped schoolgirl in Sherwood Forest’

Victim was later forced to have abortion, court hears

A 14-year-old girl became pregnant after being raped in a forest by members of a Rotherham gang who threatened to abandon her there if she resisted, a jury heard yesterday.

The teenager was driven from the South Yorkshire town to Sherwood Forest by defendants Nabeel Kurshid and Iqlak Yousaf, both now 34, and a third unnamed man, some time between August 2002 and August 2003, Sheffield Crown Court was told.

Michelle Colborne QC, prosecuting, said the girl was bitten during the alleged attack, leaving marks on her neck, reports The Sun.

“The defendants ensured her compliance by giving her drugs and threatening to abandon her in the forest,” said Colborne.

The youngster was subsequently forced by her parents to have an abortion and suffered a “great deal of psychological trauma as a result”, she continued.

The prosecutor said “that the teenager, who is now in her 30s, was vulnerable and had a history of being exploited”, says Metro.

Colborne told the court: “She was passed from one group of Asian males to another and, over time, was very seriously abused.”

Kurshid and Yousaf are among eight men standing trial accused of child sexual exploitation. The court heard that girls were “lured by the excitement of friendship with older Asian youths” but then sexually assaulted.

In her opening statement, Colborne said the case centred around alleged attacks on five girls, all now in their 30s, in Rotherham between 1998 and 2005.

She said: “When they were in their teens, they were targeted, sexualised and, in some instances, subjected to acts of a degrading and violent nature at the hands of these men who sit in the dock.”

The men – all in their mid to late 30s – “are accused of 28 offences including eleven rapes, 14 indecent assaults, falsely imprisoning a girl and procuring a girl under 16 for sex with another person”, says the Daily Mirror.

They deny all the charges against them.

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