Sheffield dessert bar owner denies sex act with girl, 14

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case
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A Sheffield dessert bar owner lured a teenage fan of his milkshakes into the kitchen and ordered her to perform a sex act on him, a court heard.

Rassam Ali, who runs Rassam’s Dessert Bar on Staniforth Road, Darnall, is accused of inviting a 14-year-old schoolgirl to the premises after it had closed and undressing in front of her.

Megan Rhys, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said the girl and her friend first started going to Rassam’s in about September 2013 after hearing about how nice the milkshakes were.

She said: “They went in each day after school and saw Rassam and they would engage in some banter.

“In about November he was asking whether they had boyfriends and made inappropriate comments to them.

“He suggested they should go back when he was closed but they said no.”

The court heard the girls returned to the dessert bar the next day and the victim eventually agreed to go back again at about 8.30pm.

It is alleged she entered the premises via the back door and performed a sex act on him in the kitchen.

The girls reportedly went back to Rassam’s a couple of times after that but the defendant’s behaviour ‘changed’ and he was ‘less friendly’.

Ali, aged 24, was arrested in January 2014 after the alleged victim, now aged 15, told a learning mentor at her school what had happened.

The girl’s parents were contacted and the police were called.

Ms Rhys said: “He said in interview the girls’ names rang a bell with him and he had heard their names mentioned.

“But he said he didn’t know them and they were schoolkids.

“He said he was friendly and nice and polite with all of them.”

Ms Rhys said Ali told officers that there were two girls who came into the dessert bar regularly who seemed to be friends or sisters.

He said he did not know how old they were but they would be wearing school uniforms.

“He said they would stay in the shop for a long time and chat to each other,” Ms Rhys said.

“Sometimes they would open the door and scream at people across the road using foul language. He never asked them to leave because they were customers.”

Ali, of Staniforth Road, Darnall, said the alleged victim used to hang around with some people that did not like him and he thought that the accusations made about him were a ‘set up’.

The young businessman, who runs six different outlets in the city including five in Darnall and one on London Road, denies one count of sexual activity with a child.

The trial continues.