"Catastrophic blunders at two scandal-hit councils mean that ministers must consider changing the law, MPs say"
Girl, 17, tried to kill herself after ordeal at sex trial By Andrew Norfolk, The Times, August 6, 2013
A teenager tried to kill herself during the trial of ten men accused of grooming her for sex from the age of 11, it can be revealed today.
The 17-year-old took an overdose of pills after her first day in the witness box. Proceedings were halted for several days in May while she was treated in hospital before resuming her evidence.
The girl gave evidence for 11 days at Oxford Crown Court, during which she was cross-examined by ten defence barristers representing the men from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, who faced multiple counts of rape and other child-sex offences.
Seven of the men, aged from 19 to 29, were acquitted after the nine-week trial. The jury deliberated for six days but failed to reach a verdict on 15 charges against three defendants. Those alleged offences were abandoned on Friday when the Crown announced that it would not seek a retrial.
The teenager’s failed suicide attempt — of which the jury was not told — will heighten concerns about the pressure placed on vulnerable witnesses who give evidence in sex-abuse cases, particularly those featuring multiple defendants.
One girl in a sex-grooming trial held at Stafford Crown Court in 2012 spent 15 days in the witness box. She suffered panic attacks and flashbacks after hours of cross-examination during which she was accused of lying.
The mother of another victim of multiple child-sex crimes who gave evidence this year in the trial of nine Oxford men at the Old Bailey said that being cross-examined made her feel “doubly abused”. She described her treatment in court as “nasty, cruel, vindictive and sarcastic”.
A source close to the High Wycombe case said that the girl’s overdose was triggered by “the overall stress and pressure she was feeling” during the early days of the trial.
Previously at Atlas:
- UK Police probe at least 54 more Muslim child sex slavery gangs
- UK Imams promote Muslim sex slavery rings brutalizing, raping very young non-Muslim girls
- Police Refused to Halt Muslim Rape gang: Police and social workers apologise to girls tortured by 'medieval' savage predators, but chief constable refuses to resign
- Another Muslim sex slavery gang jailed in the UK
- Muslim Gang Rapes, Brutalizes Kidnapped 13-Year-Old over 4 Days: 'You treated her like a piece of meat' Judge's fury as he jails Muslims who forced her to be their sex slave
- Jihad in UK: Muslim men in child trafficking sex ring, attacked vulnerable girls as young as 11 for sex, subjecting them to assaults that were "perverted in the extreme"
- Muslim Child Sex Trafficking Ring gang-raped, bought and sold young infidel girls aged 11 to 16 for 8 years, branded 'M' for Muhammed on buttocks
- Gang of Muslim men ‘groomed girls as young as 11 for sex, trafficked them across the UK and attacked them with meat cleavers and baseball bats’
- Girls, 14, 'groomed and raped at drug den by Muslim gang who treated her with contempt'
- :Hundreds of members of the Luton Sikh community protest police failing to investigate Muslim sex attack on a young non-Muslim girl
- Police Ignored Victims of Muslim Child Sex Trafficker who recruited non-Muslim child "prostitutes"; Detective: "the worst case I've ever had to deal with in my 22 years of service"
- Groups decry bogus "Asian" label
- Govt Minister: "Britain Needs Open Debate" about sex grooming gangs ... what about root cause?
- Another Muslim Gang Busted in "Second Child Sex Ring" of young non-Muslim girls
- More Muslims Jailed for Raping, Grooming Tween girls, 40 More Sought
- British Judge: "Targeted because they were not part of your community or religion": Judge blasts sex gang
- UK Child Sex Trafficking Trial: Nine Muslim men guilty of exploiting non-Muslim schoolgirls for sex and prostitution after plying them with vodka and drugs