Internet ‘justice’ group’s work to expose child sex abusers leads to arrest, court told

An internet “justice” group’s work to “expose” people wanting to “meet underage girls for sexual purposes” led to the arrest of a man now accused of child sexual offences, a court was told.

Ehtasham Tazarab was detained by police after communicating with members of the public whom, it is alleged, he believed were children, a jury at Worcester Crown Court (pictured) was told on Wednesday.

Tazarab, 21, is one of six men who have gone on trial accused of either sexually assaulting or attempting to abuse seven “vulnerable” teenage girls.

Prosecutors claim the men viewed their victims “with contempt”, with jurors hearing how one of the defendants later referred to his accuser as a “slag” in a police interview.

The defendants are accused of sexual offences against the young girls – some as young as 13 – between 2013 and 2017.

Tazarab is accused of attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child.

Prosecutors detailed how he also faces four counts of attempting sexual communication with a child, after allegedly chatting on social media with members of the internet group NET Justice.

Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting, told jurors: “They 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.”

The Crown’s barrister said the jury would hear evidence that Tazarab of The Mayfields, Redditch, Worcestershire, allegedly used social media to contact four separate “fictitious” online accounts created by the group to look as though they belonged to children.

In Snapchat conversations with one, 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.

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.

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.

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