- Six schoolgirls were subjected to 'horrific' sexual abuse and gang rape
- Girls, aged 13 to 16, were targeted at under 18s parties and groomed
- QC said they came forward because 'it's better to be a victim than a slag'
- Defence lawyer Michael Magarian said girls were 'brainwashed' by officials
- Gang of five men have been found guilty of a string of sexual offences
- Alleged leader Ahmed Hassan-Sule, 20, found guilty of 12 counts of abuse
Six schoolgirls subjected to 'horrific' sexual abuse and gang rape were accused by a defence lawyer of coming forward because 'it's better to be a victim than a slag'.
The girls, aged between 13 and 16, were targeted by a gang of five men at under-18s parties organised by Ahmed Hassan-Sule, who has been found guilty of 12 counts of sexual abuse.
Michael Magarian, QC, for the defence, suggested the girls abused in Banbury, Oxfordshire, only reported the crimes so they would not have to take responsibility for having underage sex.
He said: 'It's better to be a victim than a slag. Once you are a victim who has been groomed you no longer have to take any responsibility for anything that you did.'
Six schoolgirls were subjected to 'horrific' sexual attacks by a gang led by Ahmed Hassan-Sule (left), 20, who has been found guilty of 12 counts of abuse. Mohamed Saleh, 21, (right) was found guilty of sexual abuse
The Cambridge-educated QC, who specialises in gang related cases, said the schoolgirls could have been 'brainwashed by social workers', according to The Times.
Mr Magarian also claimed during the trial at Oxford crown court that the prosecution was 'a police-manufactured case'
Five men from Banbury were found guilty on Thursday of a string of sexual offences against the girls which took place over five years.
The alleged leader of the group Ahmed Hassan-Sule, 20, known as 'Fiddy' was found guilty of 11 counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of assault by penetration.
Prosecution barrister Stuart Trimmer QC said the defendants identified their targets by organising parties – called 'Fiddy Events' – for under 18s.
Takudzwa Hova (left), 21, was found guilty of one count of rape and Said Saleh (right) was found not guilty of sexual activity with a child
One child described the parties as 'a place where girls would go and the boys would choose their targets'.
Clare Dowse, also for the defence, suggested that the children, from troubled backgrounds in Banbury, Oxfordshire, 'might be enjoying all the attention from police and social services'.
The victims, described as 'emotionally immature' by prosecution lawyer Stuart Trimmer, were abused from 2009 to 2014.
He said: 'Sadly for them they were identified by these defendants and used by them. Once they were into the cycle of abuse they had no realistic means of extricating themselves.'
One girl said: 'They brainwashed me to think it was normal, what was happening.'
Mohamed Saleh, 21, was also found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child and not guilty of one count of the same offence.
Kagiso Manase, 20, was found guilty of one count of sexual assault
Takudzwa Hova, 21, was found guilty of one count of rape and Kagiso Manase, 20, was found guilty of one count of sexual assault.
Alexandru Nae, 19, was found not guilty of sexual activity with a child.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of rape.
Said Saleh, 20, of Orchard Way Banbury, was found not guilty of sexual activity with a child.
Mr Magarian's comments have been condemned as 'completely inappropriate' by the NSPCC.
Jon Brown from the children's charity said: 'They show a total lack of understanding of how children are groomed. Any suggestion that they may be to blame for the horrendous things that happened are totally wrong.'
Jim Leivers, Oxfordshire County Council's Director for Children, Education and Families, said: 'This case embodies all of the lessons learned from Operation Bullfinch and is a very different case as a result.
'The social workers and police officers have worked in close co-operation on a day to day basis devoting a large amount of time to building high levels of trust between themselves and the victims over a long period.'
'These victims have shown real bravery. They have been rewarded for that bravery with the verdicts that have been returned - as have the professionals who have put huge amounts of time and effort in to working towards this outcome.
'Those same professionals have now already started working with the victims in this case to help their transition in to what we all hope will be a normal and healthy adulthood.'
Senior investigating officer, Det Insp Steve Raffield, from Banbury Force CID, said: 'These offenders abused the trust of the vulnerable young victims for the purpose of their own sexual gratification.
'The girls were subject to horrific sexual offences including, in some cases, rape at the hands of these defendants.
'These horrific crimes will have a lasting impact upon the victims' lives.
'The fact that the offenders maintained they were not guilty of the offences resulted in the victims having to relive their experiences by giving evidence in court.'