Sheffield man ‘abused children as young as five’, court hears

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A Sheffield man allegedly sexually abused and beat children as young as five over 15 years in the worst way possible, a court heard.

Mohammed Rafiq, of Horninglow Road, Firth Park, denies abusing three children between 1987 and 2002.

He is standing trial on 27 charges including rape, indecent assault, indecency with a child and cruelty to children at Sheffield Crown Court.

He is said to have abused two girls and one boy.

Rafiq pleaded not guilty to each of the charges as they were put to him in court at the start of the trial.

Opening the case, prosecutor Richard Butters told a jury of eight men and four women: “This is a trial in relation to allegations of persistent rape and persistent sexual abuse over the years.

“It does not get worse than this.”

Mr Butters said one of the complainants had described feeling as though ‘her childhood has been stolen away by him’.

He said it is alleged Rafiq also beat the children with sticks and other objects, using a whip on one of the complainants.

Some of the alleged sexual attacks are said to have occurred in a hospital and Rafiq’s car.

It is alleged the male victim was ‘plied with alcohol’ by Rafiq when the child was eight years old, with vodka put into the boy’s drink of Fanta so the defendant could ‘take advantage of him’.

Mr Butters said the first complainant’s evidence contains ‘very detailed allegations of an extremely serious nature’.

He said that after the defendant was arrested in March 2014 following the allegations being made to the police, he had given a ‘no comment’ interview to detectives and refused to respond to questions during a ‘fairly lengthy interview’.

Mr Butters said: “He made no comment to every single question put to him.”

But with the help of his solicitor, Rafiq did prepare a statement saying those accusing him were ‘all liars’.

Mr Butters said the statement claimed that the complainants had ‘made up all the detailed allegations’.

The trial is expected to last for around a week, with the jury hearing video interviews and evidence from each of the complainants.

The case continues.