12-year-old Romford girl gang raped court hears

Snaresbrook Crown Court Pic: John Stillwell/PA

Snaresbrook Crown Court Pic: John Stillwell/PA - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

A 12-year-old girl was gang raped by a man and his friends after being plied with drugs and alcohol, a court heard yesterday.

Fatmir Matraxhi, 18, of Sidney Street, Whitechapel, met the troubled youngster on Facebook last year and she stayed at his flat after running away from home.

He gave the Romford girl drugs and alcohol before he had sex with her and allowed his friends to join in, Snaresbrook Crown Court was told in a sentencing hearing.

She told police she may have had sex with more than one person at Matraxhi’s flat but “was so off her head that she didn’t know how many people were about”.

She was found to have more than one man’s DNA on her after a medical examination.

Matraxhi, who was aided by an Albanian interpreter in the dock, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape of a child under 13 while two other counts were left to lie on file.

He claims he believed the youngster was 18, as it said on her Facebook page, although the girl told police she has said she was 13 years old despite being two weeks shy of her birthday.

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Soraya Lawrence, mitigating for the defendant, put a picture of the victim to her niece who believed she could have looked 18 while the Judge Carol Atkinson thought the girl looked more similar to her daughter’s age of 13.

Ms Lawrence said: “Clearly this young lady is a very vulnerable young lady, but it’s also clear that she’s very confused.

“The two taped police interviews are radically different, she said that they did have sexual intercourse, then throws in about some of it being forced, which is not accepted.”

She also told the court how the girl had run away once again two weeks after the incident and had sex with another individual who has since been acquitted of rape.

Judge Carol Atkinson said: “‘She was encouraged into a flat in which he was not the only other person living, there was other males as well, she thought he was her boyfriend and there was drugs and alcohol.

“Whilst I agree that the case is different from the older man who goes out looking for young girls, there are other forms of predatory behaviour which flow in this sort of case and involve the use of vulnerable children for sex by young men.

“It’s a different form of predatory behaviour, but it’s predatory behaviour.”

Judge Atkinson adjourned the hearing requesting the two counsels prepare documents outlining their cases.

She said the prosection is putting this forward as a child exploitation case while the defence is arguing it was a child relationship.

She added: “I will take some persuading that a 12-year-old is capable of any form of predatory behaviour.”

Judge Atkinson has adjourned the sentencing until March 5.