A regional daily has successfully fought to reveal details of a child sexual exploitation case for the first time.
Reporting restrictions had prevented the Oxford Mail from naming two of four defendants accused of sexually abusing young girls across the city in a child grooming plot involving repeated rapes and “pimping out” a child for sex.
But a challenge by the Mail has now prompted a judge at Oxford Crown Court to lift the restrictions, placed under the Contempt of Court Act 1981.
Naim Khan, 41, of no fixed abode, Mohammed Nazir, 44, of Wood Farm Road, Oxford, Raheem Ahmed, 42, of no fixed abode, and Afzal Mohammed, 42, of Randall Street, Oxford all deny a string of charges including rape, conspiracy to rape and indecent assault.
Mail court reporter Will Walker, pictured, argued reporting the names of the defendants could not possibly be prejudicial because the jury would hear them.
He told HTFP: “I appreciate the court took the time to hear the application so that more details of the case could be reported on.
“Despite arguments banning the names of some of the defendants common sense prevailed and it’s in only rare, exceptional circumstances that we should not be entitled to report the names of adult defendants.”
Prosecutors claim the offences involved three girls, aged between 13 and 15, between 1999 and 2001 in Oxford. All four men deny the charges against them and the trial continues.