By, Louis Emanuel | Bristol UK
Bristol, England: TWO men have appeared in court charged with raping underage girls who were under the care of social workers.
Bristol Magistrates’ Court was told the house where the girls were living, which cannot be named for legal reasons, effectively became a brothel.
The victims were placed in the home, which the court heard was supported housing, by social workers.
The men, one of whom is an asylum seeker who has been given the right to remain in the country by the Home Office, are accused of child sexual exploitation, which includes sexual activity at the home, as well as at the Premier Inn at St James Barton roundabout.
One of them is also charged with paying a child for sexual services.
Said Zakaria, 21, also known as Target, of Seymour Road, Easton, is charged with sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl and rape of a girl aged 14 at the Premier Inn and the home.
Gama Mohammed, 32, also known as G, of Gordon Road, Whitehall, whom the court heard was an asylum seeker, spoke through an interpreter to confirm his name, age and address.
He is charged with rape at the same home and paying for the sexual services of a child at the Premier Inn.
They both denied all the charges at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
Appearing separately, the two Somali men were remanded in custody. They are due to appear at Bristol Crown Court on October 10.
The court heard that the defendants had been arrested as part of Operation Brooke – an investigation working with child exploitation teams.
Before the hearing, DCI Carolyn Belafonte, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “Operation Brooke is a dynamic investigation; we’re working closely with the Barnardo’s child sexual exploitation team and other partner agencies to follow up every line of enquiry and, most importantly, ensure that victims are well supported.
“We would very much like to hear from anyone who believes they may have been a victim of similar sexual exploitation offences. You can call us on 101.
“We understand that reporting something to the police can be a bit daunting so if you think you are or have been a victim, and don’t want to talk to us right now, please don’t hesitate – talk to a parent or teacher or someone else you can trust.
“And if you do come straight through to us, I promise we’ll listen, support you and take what you have to say absolutely seriously.”