A shattered teenage sex abuse victim broke down in tears after SEVEN barristers had repeatedly branded her a liar during the trial of her paedo attackers.
The child – just 15 when she was first targeted – was one of five girls who fell prey to a gang who used them to satisfy their own vile lusts before selling them on to other perverts across Britain.
But after her torturers were finally caught, the youngster was forced to relive her agony in the witness box, the Sunday People reports.
And she regularly broke down in tears as she faced 16 days of relentless cross-examination by each of the defendants’ barristers in turn.
Her traumatic story is told in Channel 4’s Hunt For Britain’s Sex Gangs, which raises vital questions about how sex abuse victims are quizzed in courts.
The girl was allowed to give her evidence hidden by a screen at Stafford Crown Court in 2011 so she could not be seen by Ahdel Ali, 23, Mubarek Ali, 28, Tanveer Ahmed, 39, Noshad Hussain, 23, Mahroof Khan, 33, Mohammed Sultan, 24, and Mohammed Choudrey, 52, all from Telford.
But one of their lawyers repeatedly told her she was a liar and added: “You don’t know the meaning of the truth.”
Her mum said after the case: “Every day for weeks she was escorted by police and taken into the court – it must have been really hard for her because she was interviewed by all of the barristers for all the defendants.
“She couldn’t talk about the trial and she sort of went into herself.
“It was heartbreaking to see her come home with no expression on her face. Her whole life has just been washed away. They’ve broke my daughter and they’ve broke my family.”
Anna Hall, who made the C4 film, said: “This case was terribly harrowing to watch in court.
“She was called a liar umpteen times and put through three weeks of hell.
“She can’t talk about what she went through as it was so horrific for her – that’s why we’ve been so outraged.
“These kids need help – they don’t need to be on trial.
“It was not the men’s innocence being questioned, it was the girls’ innocence.”
A defence barrister called another of the gang’s victims “a wicked woman” and “a compulsive liar”. She hit back: “And you are a p***k,”
Asked why she was at a middle-aged man’s home she started to sob and shouted “f*** off” before storming out of the courtroom.
Film maker Hall said: “The police were horrified at the treatment she got – they’d spent nearly two years trying to get these victims into the witness box.”
She called the girls “really damaged” but said the defence made them out to be truants and drug-runners so a jury would think they’d brought it on themselves.
The trial collapsed after four months when a witness admitted lying.
But after a new hearing, Ahdel Ali was jailed at Worcester Crown Court for 18 years for rape and child-sex and his brother Mubarek got 14 years for a string of paedophile offences.
Sultan, Ahmed, Choudhrey and Khan were tried separately last autumn and were jailed for between two-and-a-half and seven years.
Hussain was cleared of trafficking a child and a jury failed to reach a verdict on four other charges. He is now too ill to face a retrial.
- The Hunt For Britain’s Sex Gangs, Channel 4, Thursday 9pm
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