A Pakistani-born restaurant owner living in Britain allegedly groomed girls as young as 12, along with a friend, by luring them with McDonald’s meals, cash, tobacco, and flowers so they could be raped.
Mohammed Khubaib, the owner of Peterborough restaurant Zaika, is accused of taking the underage girls to properties around Cambridgeshire, where they were given cigarettes and alcohol, among other things.
Despite the charges against them, Khubaib and his co-defendant, Manase Motaung, deny rape and child sex trafficking of girls aged between 12 and 16.
Prosecutor Mark Dennis said the following at court.
“As a middle-aged Asian man, Khubaib had nothing in common with these young girls; his unhealthy association with them was unknown to their parents or those who had parental control. These were girls who were vulnerable either because of their age, state of adolescent development, background, home circumstances or their unsettled schooling, or a combination of those factors. It was easy for Khubaib to try to take advantage of the vulnerability of such girls, relying on a degree of naivety and immaturity in the girls themselves.”
Khubaib, who is married, arrived in Britain 12 years ago, and allegedly acted as a “friend and helper,” taking girls to houses he had access to himself or through people he knew, to be “entertained.”
As the prosecution alleged, “It was a form of grooming — bringing the girls into a frame of mind whereby they would be prepared to engage in sexual activity with any adults present at the time.”
Khubaib had reportedly been giving vodka to the two 14-year-old girls mentioned above at a particular property, while playing videos, which appeared to contain “porn-style scenes.”
The two 14-year-old girls were introduced to Khubaib and Motaung in 2012 by a school friend, and the pair would regularly pick them up in a car. Mr. Dennis told the jury the following.
“Khubaib would buy them food (McDonald’s takeaways), other times tobacco; he has also given her or her friends small sums of money. Always, however the girls were being plied with alcohol. For her 15th birthday… Khubaib bought [her] a £40 bunch of flowers, So clearly he knew she was under 16,” he said.