A restaurant owner accused of running a brothel from his Carlisle takeaway has heard evidence against him from two of his alleged victims.
44 year old Azad Miah has pleaded not guilty to 17 offences, some involving girls as young as 12.
In court today, the two alleged victims gave evidence behind a screen and through taped police interviews.
The first is now aged 21 but was 14 at the time of the offences.
She described being addicted to heroin and said that she was paid up to £100 by Miah to have sex with him, which she would use to buy drugs.
She said that they were introduced by an older woman and that she would have sex with Miah in a car, often with the other woman standing guard.
She said that Miah asked her to introduce him to her school friends of the same age for sex but she wouldn’t.
The court heard he also allegedly said that he preferred younger girls and had said “the younger, the better”.
Defending Miah, Stephen Meadowcroft QC, told her that she had met Miah when she was 17, not 14 and they had had a proper, full relationship.
Mr Meadowcroft said that he had given money to her out of kindness and because he was seeing her not because of sex.
The girl said this was not true.
The second of Miah’s alleged victims, who is now 16, claims that she came into contact with Miah when she was 12.
She told the court that her sister had used her mobile phone to contact him but when he discovered she was 12, he began to pester her with text messages and phone calls up to 50 times a day.
The text messages were of a sexual nature, asking if she would sleep with him, the jury heard.
The girl told the court that Miah knew of her age, and had told her that it didn’t matter.
Defending, Mr Meadowcroft told her that she had simply made the whole story up, something the girl denied.
Miah faces 17 allegations him including that he ran a brothel from his then-business The Spice of India.
The take-away has since changed owners and changed its name.
He denies eight charges of paying for the sexual services of a child, eight charges of inciting child prostitution and one charge of keeping a brothel for prostitution.
The case continues.