Man who denies sexually abusing schoolgirl claims he believed she was 16

A man who has been accused of sexually abusing a schoolgirl claims he had believed she was 16 years old when they had been in a non-sexual relationship.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 6:57 am

Azad Raja, aged 38, and Yasser Hussain, also 38, and Faisal Hussain, 34, have been charged with sexual offences relating to two complainants who were aged around 13 at the time of the alleged crimes, according to an on-going Sheffield Crown Court trial.

Jayne Louise Beckett, prosecuting, said the case dates back to around early 2001 and involves the alleged sexual abuse of two girls who were still at school and were friends and who may have been as young as 13.

Azad Raja, of Adney Street, Sheffield, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecent assault concerning the first complainant and he claimed to police he had met her in 2003 or 2004 and they had been in a relationship that only involved kissing and hugging.

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A man who denies sexually abusing a schoolgirl has told a jury at Sheffield Crown Court, pictured, that they had been involved in a non-sexual relationship and he had believed she was 16-years-old.

He told the jury on October 4: “The most we did was hugs and kisses, apart from that - nothing more than that.”

Mr Raja said he had been in a relationship with the first complainant for three to six months and he had told her he was aged 19 and he said he had believed she had been aged 16.

He added he was not sexually experienced, he had never seen this complainant in a school uniform and had never engaged in any sexual activity with her relating to the charges.

Mr Raja said: “I did not spend that much time with her because of my shifts. Another reason was, maybe, because of my shift pattern we did not get to the next stage.”

He also said he had seen this complainant drink alcohol but he did not take drink or drugs at that time and he had never given the complainant alcohol or drugs.

Ms Beckett said the girls, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spent time at Meadowhall and Sheffield and they had involved themselves with older men.

The court heard how the first complainant initially met Azad Raja at the home of one of her mother’s friends and had later met his acquaintance Yasser Hussain at a neighbour’s home.

Former taxi-driver Yasser Hussain, of Norborough Road, Tinsley, Sheffield, has also pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecent assault against the same complainant.

He previously told the jury he had only seen this complainant among a group after he had twice been taken to an older woman’s home by a friend and that he had never had any physical contact or sexual involvement with her. Yasser Hussain had told officers he only knew the first complainant as Mr Raja’s girlfriend.

Yasser Hussain had also been accused of raping this complainant but the jury was directed to return a not guilty verdict on this matter after the CPS stated this offence could not be proven.

Faisal Hussain, of Lovetot Road, Kimberworth, Rotherham, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecent assault concerning the other complainant. He has claimed he did not know either of the girls.

The trial continues.

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