Man, 21, who thought he was talking to a 13-year-old and told her she was ‘bare young’ was caught by a vigilante group posing as children online, court hears in trial of six men accused of abusing girls
A man on trial with a gang who lured teenagers with the promise of drink and drugs had sex chats with members of an internet ‘justice’ group who were pretending to be young girls, a court today heard.
Ehtasham Tazarab, 21, is alleged to have exchanged sexual messages on Snapchat with accounts he believed were run by underage girls.
A court heard in one conversation with a fake account, Tazarab is alleged to have sent a message to the ‘girl’, listed as 13 years old, that she was ‘bare young’ – slang for meaning ‘very’ young.
He allegedly sent pictures to one girl, asked the ‘girl’ for ‘pictures’ and sent a message saying ‘age is just a number’.
But jury members were told he was caught out after attempting to meet the ‘girl’ in a public place, only to be confronted by an internet ‘justice’ group trying to ‘expose’ people wanting to ‘meet underage girls for sexual purposes’.
Tazarab, of Redditch, Worcestershire, was arrested shortly after, prosecutors say.
He denies attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child and is on trial at Worcester Crown Court with five other men accused of either sexually assaulting or attempting to abuse seven ‘vulnerable’ teenage girls.
Tazarab also faces four counts of attempting sexual communication with a child, which he also denies.
Ethashan Tazarab (left) with brother Arslan Tazarab (right) outside Kidderminster Magistrates Court in 2020
Today, in the trial, prosecutors told jury members that they would hear how Tazarab allegedly used social media to contact four separate ‘fictitious’ online accounts created by internet group NET Justice to look as though they belonged to children.
Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting, told jurors: ‘They (the charges) all concern Ehtasham Tazarab and all concern the efforts of a group calling itself NET Justice, made up of members of the public who set out to identify individuals who demonstrate a willingness to contact and meet underage girls for sexual purposes and to expose those people to the police.’
In Snapchat conversations with one ‘girl’, whose profile stated she was 13-years-old and from Leeds, Tazarab is alleged to have told her she was ‘bare young’ – slang for meaning ‘very young’, jurors were told.
He is alleged to have told the fictitious girl to ‘send some (pictures) on here’, and sent an image of his own erect penis.
Prosecutors claim he told another of the fake accounts ‘age is just a number’, and asked another if she had ever performed a sex act.
Mr Heywood said that following the alleged contact NET Justice arranged a meeting, at a public location, between a fictitious child and Tazarab in February 2018.
Usmaan Asghar (right) is pictured outside Kidderminster Magistrates Court in 2020. He is accused of sexual assault of a woman together with two counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child. Left: Usman Ali, 27, is facing six allegations he engaged in sexual activity with a child
He added: ‘They confronted him… and shortly afterwards Ehtasham Tazarab was arrested.’
The other sexual offences of which Tazarab and his five co-defendants are accused are alleged to have taken place in locations including parks, woodland, alleyways, an abandoned house and in cars in north Worcestershire.
The prosecution said some of the victims, all then in their early or middle teens, ‘were simply and crudely groped’, while one was raped.
Mr Heywood said during his opening on Tuesday how ‘some of them were lonely and wanted attention’ while ‘others had made poor lifestyle choices that made them vulnerable’.
Numan Mohammed, 23, formerly of Redditch, Worcestershire, and now of Staffordshire, is accused of eight offences in total.
He is facing two allegations of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, three charges of sexual activity with a child, two allegations of inciting a child to sexual activity, and a charge of rape.
Abdul Hussain is pictured outside Kidderminster Magistrates Court when they appeared in 2020
Usmaan Asghar is pictured outside Kidderminster Magistrates Court following a previous hearing in 2020
Also accused is Arslan Tazarab, 25, of The Mayfields, Redditch, who is facing four allegations of sexual activity with a child.
Asghar, 22, of Sillins Avenue, Redditch, is accused of two counts of sexual activity with a child.
Alongside them in the dock, Usman Ali, 28, of Other Road, Redditch, is also accused of two charges of sexual activity with a child – and later said of his accuser, in a police interview: ‘All I know is she’s a slag’.
Abdul Shakoor Hussain, 22, of Mount Pleasant, Redditch, is alleged to have engaged in a sex act in the presence of a girl, and faces two charges of sexual assault.
The men deny any wrongdoing and the trial, estimated to last six weeks, continues.