Girl Three had been so effectively groomed and controlled that even now she sometimes struggles to see the bad in the men who orchestrated her ordeal.
She endured three years of their abuse – and then, five years after it ended, she relived it all at trial.
“It was brainwashing,” she says. “Even to this day I can almost say, ‘They were OK.’ It’s delusional. They turned me against my mum. They knew everything that they had to say to get a vulnerable person, a young person, on their side.”
Girl Three was almost 13 years old when she first met the Oxford men who would later be convicted of taking control of her life.
Like some of the other victims, she had experienced abuse as a child and had been taken into care. She was later adopted – but by the time she was 12 years old, she was running away and drinking.
And that meant she was easy prey for the men seeking girls to control. The first of the men she met was Mohammed Karrar, who she thought was her friend.
“I was just looking for attention and seemed to get it from him,” she says. “He was very, smiley, very friendly. I would have said respectful. He was very smart in what he said – and very careful.”
Karrar and brothers Akhtar and Anjum Dogar – whom she knew as Spider and Jammy – wanted something.
They began grooming her, gaining her trust but then offering her drink and drugs. It was cannabis at first but later harder substances, culminating in crack cocaine.
“I was getting addicted… and Karrar knew,” she says. “That’s when he started to ask me to do favours for him, which he meant sleep with people. At the time I just saw it as I was getting what I needed.”
Those initial acts of abuse, where she was offered for sex with unknown men, became the only regular feature in her life.
The longer it went on, the more Girl Three was under the gang’s control. The Dogar brothers began trafficking her to be exploited by many more men – and the more control the gang exerted, the more extreme were the demands made upon her.
“I was doing more and more drugs. And he kept feeding me these drugs and sending me off to more and more men, to, I assume, pleasure their needs for his money.”
Girl Three was sent to guest houses – and to other towns and cities – London, Coventry and Manchester. Sometimes she was sent away for days at a time. She was often so intoxicated by drink and drugs that she cannot entirely recall all of the abuse. On one occasion, the court heard, Mohammed Karrar had given her so much crack cocaine she ended up in hospital.
To this day, she has no idea how many men she was sold to for sex.
She says: “I was still under the illusion that they cared about me. But I didn’t feel I had a choice. They had what I needed, drugs, drink. I was addicted and they said that they would give me drugs if I had sex with these men. I was paying them with my body.
“That was my life. That’s all I had. I was with them almost every day.
“Why didn’t I run away? I was scared to say no because they wouldn’t accept no as an answer for anything.”
The final break came in 2008. The gang had worked hard to distance her from her adoptive mother – and had begun to threaten to harm the family. But the mother broke the cycle by successfully moving Girl Three away. The men didn’t come looking – she was by then “too old” for the gang.
QotD: ‘Girl Three’