Jury go out in Sheffield child prostitution and abuse trial

The jury has gone out in a Sheffield child prostitution and abuse trial, through which six defendants face 42 offences alleged to have been carried out against nine young victims between 2005 and 2012.

Wednesday, 15th March 2017, 9:20 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:05 am
Amanda Spencer

Following a six week trial, jurors went out to try and reach a verdict yesterday afternoon.

- Christopher Whiteley, 23, of Weakland Crescent in Hackenthorpe is charged with 13 counts of rape, two counts of conspiracy to rape, two child prostitution offences, two counts of sexual assault on a child under 13, one count of theft and one count of sexual assault;

Shane Whiteley

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- Shane Whiteley, 30, also of Weakland Crescent, is charged with three child prostitution offences and two counts of conspiracy to rape;

- Matthew Whiteley, 24, also of Weakland Crescent, is charged with two child prostitution offences, two counts of conspiracy to rape and two counts of sexual activity with a child;

- Amanda Spencer, 26, of Canklow Road, Rotherham, is charged with eight counts of aiding and abetting rape and 12 child prostitution offences;

- Andre Francis-Edge, of Wheatley Road in Parson Cross, Sheffield is charged with one count of rape, one count of conspiracy to rape and one child prostitution offence;

Shane Whiteley

- Taleb Bapir, 39, of Verdon Street, Sheffield, is charged with one count of rape.

The defendants deny all charges.

During the opening of the trial last month,prosecutor Peter Hampton identified Amanda Spencer and Christopher Whiteley as the two 'key' figures to have played a role in the prostitution and abuse of the nine alleged victims.

He told the court that both Christopher and Amanda would befriend young girls, plying them with alcohol, drugs, make-up and attention before forcing them to carry out sex acts they did not consent to.

Mr Hampton said Amanda preyed upon troubled girls hanging around in the Castle Market area of Sheffield between 2008 and 2012 when she was aged between 17 and 21, it is alleged.

Christopher is alleged to have carried out acts of rape and sexual assault against similarly vulnerable girls at Castle Market between 2007 and 2010 when he was between the ages of 13 and 16-years-old.

He is also alleged to have also been on the other side of the child prostitution ring, forcing young girls into sexual activity with strangers, along with his brothers Shane Whiteley and Matthew Whiteley and their friend Andre Francis Edge.

Matthew Whiteley is accused of conspiracy to arrange child prostitution and conspiracy to rape.

This is alleged to have taken place in Shane's flat in Victoria Court, West Street which was used as a brothel by the four defendants, who charged men £50 to have sex with their victims. Prosecutor Peter Hampton told Sheffield Crown Court that the one thing the nine victims have in common is their 'vulnerability'.

At the time they were exploited two of the girls were in care, and another two suffered from learning difficulties. He said: "All were lacking in self-esteem and the wherewithal to protect themselves from exploitation."