Peterborough businessman accused of grooming girls for sex speaks out for first time

Mohammed Khubaib
Mohammed Khubaib
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A lettings agent from Peterborough told a court he bought vodka for three teenage girls as part-payment for cleaning one of his properties on the night he allegedly raped a 14-year-old.

Mohammed Khubaib (43) said he met the girls, who cannot be named, after one of them asked for a job delivering leaflets for his business.

I need to clean my house, so I gave them job, which is good price.

Mohammed Khubaib

The father-of-five, who also ran Peterborough restaurants Zaika and Asian Fusion, told the Old Bailey the teenagers rang him on 18 August 2007 asking for more work.

Married Khubaib, who is accused of grooming young teenage girls for sex, said he offered them a job cleaning a vacant house in exchange for £60.

The prosecution say he rewarded one girl £5 for performing a sex act before forcing himself on her friend.

But giving evidence for the first time he told jurors: “They told me they are 16. They asked me to buy alcohol, I buy them.

“They asked me, I didn’t have to much think in my head to ask too many questions.

“I need to clean my house, so I gave them job, which is good price.

“They are going to clean house for 60 quid and this drink, also, it’s their money taken out, not my money.”

Khubaib explained he took two of the girls to the property before the three of them left to pick up another one of their friends.

“They say they are hungry. I buy them three sandwiches, which has cost me 75p each.”

Khubaib said he left them at the house at around 10.30pm with instructions to clean before he left the property himself.

He claimed he returned in the early hours of the morning to discover a male friend of the girls had arrived and the house had not been cleaned.

He said: “Then I tell everybody to please leave the property.”

The defendant claimed he gave all four of them a lift to a local parade of shops before going home himself.

Khubaib’s barrister, John Jones QC, said: “As you know, the allegation made is that you did go upstairs and that whilst upstairs you paid one of the girls for an act of oral sex.”

His client replied: “I never paid any money, I never go upstairs.”

Mr Jones continued: “And once that act had been completed you did the same, but forced it on [the alleged victim].”

“No, that never happened,” Khubaib insisted.

The court heard Khubaib was arrested and interviewed five days after the alleged incident, but no further action was taken at the time.

Khubaib is now accused of rape over the 2007 incident along with ten allegations of trafficking girls for sexual exploitation in 2012 and 2013.

The prosecution say he enticed vulnerable girls as young as 12 into spending time with him by giving them cash, tobacco, McDonald’s meals and even flowers.

Khubaib allegedly drove the youngsters to properties around Peterborough where they were plied with alcohol and used for the sexual pleasure of him and his friends.

Mr Jones asked: “The remaining counts on the indictment concern incidents in 2012 and 2013, usually at properties rented by you or owned by you, when alcohol was present.

“Given what had happened in 2007 with [the alleged rape victim] and the allegation she made against you, why did you continue to associate with young girls?”

Khubaib answered: “Because I have never done anything wrong. I never met the girls, they always came to me ... for a job or something.”

Khubaib, of Cambridge Avenue, Peterborough, denies nine counts of trafficking a child for sexual exploitation and one of raping a 14-year-old girl.

Manese Motaung (32) of Grange Road, Peterborough, denies five counts of trafficking a child for sexual exploitation and one of raping a 16-year-old girl.

The pair have each been acquitted of two trafficking charges on the instruction of Judge Peter Rook QC.

The trial continues.