A GANG of men raped a vulnerable 12-year-old girl after plying her with vodka and cannabis, a court heard.

Mohammed Suman, who is already serving an eight year prison sentence for raping a 15-year-old boy, admits he had sex with the girl, but denies he was part of a group of Bolton Asian men who abused the girl in 2005.

A trial of issue is being held at Bolton Crown Court to decide which account is true before Suman is sentenced for raping a child.

Recorder Peter Atherton was told how the girl repeatedly ran away from home and police and social services became concerned after reports of her performing sexual acts for groups of men.

“She was a persistent runaway both from her home address and a variety of children’s homes, who suffered sustained abuse at the hands of a large number of Asian men,” said Iain Simkin, prosecuting.

A report, at the time, written by police officer Dawn Hilditch stated: “The child is at risk to herself due to her own sexualised behaviour.

“She is walking the streets when she goes missing from home. The local Asian males got to know, through the grapevine, that this child would perform oral sex in return for alcohol, drugs and cigarettes.”

On August 25, 2005, she was found after going missing again and gave police details of what had happened with her abusers.

A video interview and documents from the girl’s complaint in 2005 were lost in a flood at Astley Bridge police station but DC Hilditch, who had questioned the girl, told the court that she remembers the case well and had noted the details on a protection form just four days later, which is still in existence.

Questioned by Iain Simkin, prosecuting, DC Hilditch said the girl told her how she had been picked up in a car by four Asian men in Bolton who took her to a house where she performed sex acts on a total of eight men after being given vodka, cigarettes and cannabis. She then had sex with five of them.

“This whole case sticks in my mind because of the way the child was,” said DC Hilditch.

“She was a 12-year-old vulnerable little girl and it still makes me feel emotional now, 15 years down the line.

“She was crying and upset,” she said, adding that the distraught child had hugged her and stated, “I just wanted someone to love me.”

The case was not proceeded with at the time due to the unwillingness of the girl to pursue the complaint, although semen was found on her clothing. It was later matched to Suman by police investigating him for the subsequent rape of a boy.

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Suman, now aged 34, denies he was part of a group who abused the child. He claims that he had been sitting on a bench in Bolton when the girl approached him and offered him sex in return for £5.

He says that he agreed and they went to a wooded area near Kwik Save in Bolton and, after sex and asking him for a cigarette, she left.

The girl, who is now living abroad, had been due to give evidence but coronavirus restrictions meant that travel was not possible.

The case continues.