Peterborough restaurateur ‘groomed girls for sex’ - court told

Mohammed Khubaib

Mohammed Khubaib

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BREAKING NEWS: A Peterborough restaurant owner groomed girls with McDonald’s meals so they could be raped by him and his friends, the Old Bailey heard today

Mohammed Khubaib, 43, enticed vulnerable girls as young as 12 into spending time with him by giving them cash, tobacco and even flowers, jurors heard.

The Pakistani-born letting agent, who owns Peterborough restaurant ‘Zaika’, allegedly drove the youngsters to properties around Cambridgeshire where they were plied with booze.

The girls would then be used for the sexual pleasure and satisfaction of himself and any other adult who was with him, the Old Bailey heard.

Khubaib is standing trial alongside Manase Motaung, 32, who is said to have shared that interest.

Both men deny rape and child sex trafficking of girls aged between 12 and 16.

Prosecutor Mark Dennis QC said: ‘As a middle-aged Asian man, Khubaib had nothing in common with these young girls; his unhealthy association with them was unknown to their parents or those who had parental control.

‘These were girls who were vulnerable either because of their age, state of adolescent development, background, home circumstances or their unsettled schooling, or a combination of those factors.

‘It was easy for Khubaib to try to take advantage of the vulnerability of such girls, relying on a degree of naivety and immaturity in the girls themselves.’

Married Khubaib, who came to the country around 12 years ago, acted as a ‘friend and helper’, taking girls to addresses he had access to himself or through people he knew, to be entertained, the prosecutor said.

‘It was a form of grooming - bringing the girls into a frame of mind whereby they would be prepared to engage in sexual activity with any adults present at the time,’ he continued.

Khubaib was arrested alongside Motaung, known as ‘Naz’ and a 27-year-old friend at a small terraced house in Lincoln Road, Peterborough on 27 January 2013.

The men had been giving vodka to two 14-year-old girls in an upstairs bedroom and were playing videos, which appeared to contain ‘porn-style scenes’, jurors heard.

The court heard it was the third time that week that Khubaib had been caught in the company of teenagers in similar circumstances.

The restaurant boss would not drink alcohol himself on these ‘grooming sessions’, the jury heard.

Khubaib first came to the attention of police as far back as August 2007, when he is alleged to have forced a 14-year-old to engage in oral sex.

Her friend accepted just £5 for gthis, but when the girl, who cannot be named, refused he forced her to perform a sex act on him, it is claimed.

Motaung, originally from South Africa, is alleged to have raped a drunken 16-year-old who he met at one of the ‘grooming sessions’.

One of her friends even took photos of the alleged attack on her mobile phone, it was said.

The alleged victim was ‘distraught’ when showed one of the pictures the next day and later began to have ‘flash-backs’ of the incident, it was said.

Another girl, also aged 14, was introduced to Khubaib and Motaung in 2012 by a school friend and the pair would regularly pick them up in a seven-seater vehicle, the jury heard.

‘Khubaib would buy them food (McDonald’s takeaways), other times tobacco; he has also given her or her friends small sums of money.

‘Always, however the girls were being plied with alcohol. For her 15th birthday... Khubaib bought [her] a £40 bunch of flowers,’ Mr Dennis told the jury.

‘So clearly he knew she was under 16,’ he added.

Khubaib would tell the girl he wanted her to be his wife and boasted his own spouse did not have a say in what he does, it was said.

‘All this, we submit, was part of the grooming process as he sought to corrupt this teenager to act as he ultimately desired.’

Jurors heard how a 15-year-old was told by Khubaib: ‘You make me happy, I’ll give you money.’

He allegedly later offered her £90 before saying: ‘You know you want to, all the other girls love it.’

But Khubaib left her alone after realising she had no intention of doing anything in return for money she accepted, the court heard.

He allegedly told one 15-year-old ‘age doesn’t matter’ after she rebuffed his advances.

The prosecutor told the jury: ‘Age does matter, but that’s his attitude.’

Mr Dennis added: ‘Khubaib has not acknowledged that he has done anything wrong. He asserted that his association with these girls was innocent and that he had not acted in any improper way or with any improper motive.

‘Motaung likewise denied that he had done anything wrong or that he had acted in any improper way or with any improper or unlawful intent towards anyone and he denied even knowing some of the girls.’

He claimed the 16-year-old had fully consented to having sex with him on 18 October 2012.

Khubaib, of Cambridge Avenue, Peterborough, denies 11 counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation, and one count of rape.

Motaung of Grange Road, Peterborough, denies seven counts of trafficking a child for sexual exploitation and one charge of rape.

The trial continues.