The prosecutor at the on- going sex abuse trial of a group of Banbury men urged the jury to ask themselves why the alleged victims would be lying about the offences.
In the dock at Oxford Crown Court are Ahmed Hassan-Sule, 20, of Glyndebourne Gardens; Said Saleh, 20, of Orchard Way; Mohamed Saleh, 21, of Orchard Way; Takudzwa Hova, 21, of Broughton Road; Kagiso Manase, 26, of Warwick Road; Alexandru Nae, 19, of Broome Way; and a 17-year-old who cannot be named.
They all deny various offences including sexual activity with a child under the age of 16, inciting a child under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity, sexual assault, assault by penetration and rape. The 17-year-old denies one count of rape.
It is alleged the group identified eight girls aged between 13 and 16 and committed the offences in and around Banbury.
Yesterday (Wednesday), prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC made his closing speech at the trial which started at the beginning of January.
Addressing the jury he said: “The girls you have seen giving evidence would probably complain if I was to describe them as children but they are. Some are over 16 but those under the age of 16 are, for the purpose of what you are thinking of, children.
“These were youngsters used as sexual play things – they were not intended to be in relationships. They are brought to houses, sex is had and then they go. Until the next time.”
“The reality is these defendants have decided to run with ‘it didn’t happen, I don’t know them, they’re liars’.
“There’s no answer to the question ‘why’, there’s no motive why these girls would make it up. The crown says you will have no doubt what the girls say happened, happened.”
Mr Trimmer said the girls ‘wanted to be liked’ by the men and to feel accepted in their group. He added: “The girls came to regard this behaviour as normal. None of these girls complained, none of them took themselves down to the police station and banged on the door.”
The jury is expected to retire towards the end of next week.