Sunday, 22 October 2017

Sister’s denial at girl rape trial

A WOMAN accused of taking her younger sister to a house in Henley to be raped has claimed her father

A WOMAN accused of taking her younger sister to a house in Henley to be raped has claimed her father turned her sibling against her.

She told Oxford Crown Court that her estranged father had a “grudge” since she accused him of touching her inappropriately in 2006, which led to the breakdown of her parents’ marriage.

The 23-year-old from Caversham, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has denied arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence at a house in Queen Close between October 1 and November 30, 2011.

Hammad Rehman, 36, of Caversham Road, Reading, has denied orally raping a child under the age of 13 and sexual assault of a child by touching.

Michael Stradling, representing the woman, suggested the accusations had been made up. “There was at the very least a grudge on his part against his eldest daughter,” he said. “It is not a well-crafted account and it starts to unravel for the deception that it is.”

Mr Stradling said the victim’s accounts were “horribly confused” and that if she had been raped then she would have remembered more details.

The girl, who was 11 years old at the time, claims she was taken by her sister to Rehman’s house under the guise of attending an Eid party.

The accused woman’s husband said his wife was regarded as the “black sheep” of the family because she had married a practising Muslim in secret.

He said his wife and her sister had previously had a good relationship but this changed once their first child was born.

“Her attitude changed and she was walking around like she owned the house,” he said. “She had bad company. They were girls 12 or 13 years old dressed as if they were 18 or 19. It’s not nice.”

The man said his wife used to meditate at Rehman’s house and other people’s houses “to find peace” but denied that there was anything sinister about it.

The man, who used to work for Rehman, said he had no knowledge of anything untoward happening to his sister-in-law.

“I would not approve of any such like of behavior — of course not,” he said.

Sally Mealing-McLeod, prosecuting, said there was “no way” he could know what went on at Rehman’s house as he was not present during the social visits.

The court heard that Rehman and the female defendant had a sexual relationship while she was at college and the pair disappeared together for three weeks during this time. The woman’s brother said that when she returned, she started wearing Islamic clothing.

Ms Mealing-McLeod questioned why the woman decided to take her sister to Rehman’s house.

“She was apparently going to have a social call with Hammad Rehman and his family. Why did she need to take her at all if she knew, as she clearly did, that the family would disapprove of involving her with these sorts of people? Unless, of course, there was an ulterior motive.”

The trial continues.

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