Woman accused of lying about being grooming gang victim describes being trafficked
A woman who allegedly lied about being the victim of an Asian grooming gang has told a court she was trafficked across the country and in Ibiza.
Giving evidence at her trial at Preston Crown Court (pictured) on Tuesday, Eleanor Williams, 22, said she had met Mohammed Ramzan, the man she has accused of trafficking her, when she was 12 years old.
She told the court she was taken to “parties” where she would have sex with men in her home town of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, as well as Leeds, Bradford, Halifax and Preston.
She also described being taken to an apartment in Ibiza where she spent a week to 10 days having sex with men while on drink and drugs.
Williams said Mr Ramzan became her “boyfriend” when she was 12 and began working at his restaurant Mr Elephant.
She told the court: “I thought it was love, I thought he loved me, so I was happy about the situation.”
But, she said the businessman, also known as Rammi, started getting “more angry” and wanted her to do “sexual favours” for his friends.
She said: “It was confusing. I didn’t like what I was doing but at the same time I loved Rammi, so…”
Williams described meeting men at “parties” in Barrow and across the north of England.
She told the court: “It’s not a party most people think of, it’s a house you go to to have sex with older men.”
The gatherings would involve up to 10 girls and sometimes more than 20 men, she said.
She told the court she would be given “skimpy” clothing to wear and afterwards would be in a “bad state”.
“I’d be off my head, be drunk and sometimes I’d be physically bleeding or whatever as well,” she said.
Williams said when she was 16, Mr Ramzan took her on holiday to Ibiza.
She said: “He told me it was a holiday just for me and him, we’d fallen out and made up by then, but obviously when we got there it was different.”
She told the court she spent the week in an apartment “off my head” on drink and drugs, having sex with men.
Williams said she had first been given cannabis and other drugs, such as Spice, by Mr Ramzan when she was about 12.
She said: “I’d buy drugs for myself later on. It got to the point I was spending a good couple of hundred quid on drugs as well as taking what I got free.
“It was easier to be off my head.”
She said when she was 14 or 15, she began taking other drugs such as cocaine and heroin.
She told the jury men were violent towards her if she had “an attitude” and would sometimes use weapons, including knives and guns.
She said: “They’d kick me, punch me, spit on me.”
The court heard Williams lived with her mother, stepfather and siblings, but did not tell them what was happening.
She said: “I didn’t have a very good relationship with my mam and stepdad anyways.
“They had their own problems going on, they didn’t need to deal with mine.”
She said she witnessed violence from her stepfather towards her mother.
The court heard Williams was not happy at home as a teenager and children’s services had been involved.
When she left school she had three jobs – working at a care home, in a Wetherspoon’s pub and in a nightclub in Barrow.
Williams, of Teasdale Road, Barrow, denies eight counts of doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice.
She had faced seven charges, but on Tuesday the jury was told the indictment would be amended to separate some of the allegations into an additional count.
The trial will continue on Wednesday.
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