A MAN accused of a string of sexual offences involving two schoolgirls has denied knowing they were 15.
During his trial at Preston Crown Court, Choudhary Muhammad Owais, 20, was asked about three different occasions when it is alleged he and a friend met the girls.
The prosecution claims he tried to exploit them sexually, plying them with booze and encouraging them to engage in sexual activity, knowing their ages. Owais, of Miller Road, Ribbleton, Preston, denies three counts of sexual activity with a child, three of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and sexual assault.
The allegations date back to July 2013.
The court previously heard three young girls from Preston had told their families they were staying with each other – when in fact they were staying at one of the girl’s homes while her family were away.
The second girl had known the defendant’s friend and on the first night the defendant had met them, the court heard, the men drove the girls to Blackpool.
The first girl alleged she was forced to perform a sex act on Owais in a car on the way back from the trip.
The jury heard the following night the first girl was with the defendant again in Avenham Park, and when they ended up alone together he forced her to perform the sex act again.
On a third occasion, the court was told, police officers took the girls home after finding them with the men in Hurst Grange Park.
The first girl alleges Owais had again tried to force her to perform a sex act.
Giving evidence, Owais said: “ They said they were 17 and went to college. I didn’t know them before, I’d never met them before.
He later told the court: “I was shocked the police said they were 15. I was shocked they had lied to us.”
Owais denies the charges and the trial continues.