Girl tells police she was drugged and raped by grooming gang in Cumbria, gets herself arrested
A 19-year-old girl has been charged with perverting the course of justice after telling police she was drugged and raped by a Muslim sex gang in Cumbria.
The teenager, from Barrow-in-Furness, is currently in custody awaiting a court hearing, having allegedly breached her bail conditions.
Last night Cumbria Police confirmed it was investigating an incident of physical and sexual abuse that was reported by a woman in her late teens on Tuesday evening.
The girl later alleged on social media that she had been beaten, burned, drugged and trafficked for sex throughout the north of England by Pakistani men.
Her post included pictures of bruises, scratches and burn marks, and sparked a social media storm.
Cumbria Police revealed on Wednesday that they had launched a 12 month investigation into claims of sexual and physical abuse by an organised gang who were said to have trafficked girls and young women across the north of England.
On Thursday the force said the only charges to arise from the investigation was against a young woman. In a statement it said: 'Cumbria Constabulary can confirm that a 19-year-old woman, from Barrow-in-Furness, is subject of ongoing criminal proceedings.
'She was charged with seven counts of perverting the course of justice on 26th March 2020 and was released on bail.
'She has subsequently been arrested on 20th May for breach of her bail conditions and has been remanded in custody, court date to be notified. '
In the girl's shocking social media post, she'd claimed she was put into a car on Tuesday and taken to an address so that three Muslim men could have sex with her.
'Afterwards I was beaten because I was in debt to these men for not attending "parties" for over seven weeks due to coronavirus,' she wrote.
'The organisers of the party decided to beat me to teach me a lesson. They decided that I don't learn from being battered as I've received beatings before'.
She claimed her alleged abusers began to hack off one of her fingers as a punishment for 'continuing to make the same mistakes'.
One of them 'waved a knife around' while he and others in the gang threatened to kill her.
The girl supported her claims with a series of photographs showing her with black eyes, bruising to both her face and body, and what appear to be cigarette burns.
Responding to the public's horror at the social media post, Cumbria's Head of Crime and safeguarding, Det Chief Supt Dean Holden, reiterated that there had been a robust response to the allegation.
The girl alleged she had been both physically and sexually abused by the gang over a number of years.
She also claimed that despite the police investigation into her own case, other teenagers in the area are still being attacked and trafficked.
She claimed: 'I am not the only girl in (the area) who has gone through this or is going through this. I know plenty of girls involved – including girls from away.
'This is local men and men from away. These are mostly Pakistani men and some are business owners. I wish I could name all of those involved, but due to current ongoing investigations I'm not allowed'.
She had finally come forward after 'years of me being trafficked to places across Manchester, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria…mostly Leeds, Huddersfield, Oldham, Preston, Blackpool, Lancaster and Morecambe.
'I have been to other places as well as attending "parties" locally. This is to have sex with Asian men with me receiving nothing for it'.
She adds: 'These are evil yet clever men. They know how to manipulate, convince and threaten girls into staying. When they can't, they use extreme violence.
'I used to believe that these people loved me. I realise now that they used me for their own gain and profit. They have beaten me on multiple occasions, sometimes for no reason at all.
'They have given me drugs to the point I was nearly addicted to heroin. They have stripped me naked, beaten me and dumped me in the middle of nowhere with nothing…no money, phone, ID, clothes, shoes, nothing.
'They did this once in winter (when) I got found with bad hypothermia. They have broken my ribs and many bones in my face. They have split my ear, cut my throat, attempted to cut my boobs and nipples off.
'They have carved words into my body, branded me with letters. They have disclocated my elbow, they have stabbed me, they have burnt me and used me as an ashtray to stamp cigarettes out.
'They have beaten me black (and blue). I have had a bleed on the brain from a head injury. I have lost some vision in one of my eyes from being smacked so badly.
'Now I have had my finger cut. They have put lit petrol rags and threatening letters through my letter box, they have followed me home, tried to drown me, strangled me and they have stalked me'.
She claimed members of the gang were sometimes armed and had either waved their guns around or else held them to her head.
For years she tried to cover up the abuse by claiming she had hurt herself in accidents. Her suffering caused her to attempt suicide as a way to escape.
'I lost all my self-respect and didn't actually care if I was killed because at least then all this would be over. I know now that this has gone too far and everything is not ok. I have scars across my body that won't go away, but even worse I have memories that won't disappear'.
'I am incredibly lucky not to be dead already. I thought the only way I could escape this life was to marry one of them, get pregnant or kill myself'.
Girl X insists she will continue to tell the police everything she knows so she can help them 'fix this'. She believes she deserves justice and will feel 'so proud of myself' if she can achieve it by bringing her alleged abusers to trial.
She wants other girls to be aware of the issue of grooming and to remember that 'if a man asks you to keep it a secret it's usually because what he is doing is wrong'.