Girl discovered in Burnley house claims she was trafficked from Slovakia (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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Girl discovered in Burnley house claims she was trafficked from Slovakia
AN alleged trafficking victim gave police a very different account when she was first discovered at a house in Burnley, defence barristers have insisted.
Det Con Andrew Maden and two uniformed officers were the first police to respond to an anonymous call regarding a woman being held against her will at Khan Bros shop in Brougham Street last October, Preston Crown Court heard.
The alleged victim was not at the shop, run by Azam Khan, but police retrieved a marriage certificate from an upstairs room where she apparently slept.
The shopkeeper’s uncle Mashfarat Khan arrived on the scene and later took officers to 345 Colne Road, where the woman was staying, jurors were told.
In a statement, DC Maden said the officers had difficulties communicating with the woman, and Mashfarat Khan initially said the woman did not wish to go with the officers.
But after getting dressed she came downstairs, accompanied by Khan’s wife Nusrat, and the woman was taken to Burnley police station.
PC Nagina Ahmed said she used an interpretation service called Language Line to interview the 20 year old.
She told how she had been visiting a fair in her native Slovakia with a friend when two men plied her with vodka. The next thing she recalled was waking up in England and being told by the men that she would marry a man and be handsomely rewarded before returning to Slovakia.
She also recalled being taken to the Colne Road home of Mashfarat Khan, asked to marry a ‘Mr Khan’ and pressure was put on her to be intimate, also with ‘Mr Khan’.
PC Ahmed said she could not be sure which Mr Khan was being referred to.
Tim Storrie, for Azam Khan, confirmed with the officer there was no mention of her being raped by his client, during the initial interview.
PC Ahmed also said she could not recall whether the alleged victim asked to speak to an interpreter in Slovakian or Hungarian. Most of her notes of the original interview, later handed over to detectives, had also been lost.
Later video interviews, played to the jury, saw the woman allege she had been initially taken to Bradford, and forced to have sex with a man, before being ‘sold’ to the Khans in Burnley.
Azam Khan, 34, of Brougham Street, is alleged to have raped her three times, at the Burnley shop, and assaulted her twice, jurors have heard.
Nusrat, 40, and Mashrafat Khan, 61, of Colne Road, Burnley, deny trafficking a person for exploitation under the Asylum and Immigration Act.
Imrich Bodor, 44, Petra Dzudzova, 25, and Abdul Sabool Shinwary, all from Bradford also deny the charges.