As the case against nine men accused of being part of a child grooming ring opens, the jurors are sworn in and urged not to be swayed by emotion.

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The prosecution opened its case at the Old Bailey against nine men, aged between 24 and 38, accused of sexually exploiting six under-age girls in the Oxford area.

The trial may take three months, according to Judge Peter Rook, with the defendants facing 51 counts including trafficking and arranging child prostitution.

The men were arrested as part of Thames Valley Police's Operation Bullfinch, which saw 14 addresses raided across Oxford last March in an investigation headed by Detective Inspector Simon Morton.

A jury of seven men and five women were sworn in by Judge Rook, who told them that emotion should not play a part in their deliberation.

Prosecutor, Noel Lucas QC, said: "The defendants, and others not before the court, used and abused the six complainants persistently over long periods of time, sometimes in groups, for their own sexual gratification and the sexual gratification of others."

The men were alleged to have threatened to harm the girls or their families should they ever flee the group according to Mr Lucas.

"It was in these ways the men came to exercise control over the girls who, because of their previous experiences and disturbed home lives, were likely to subject themselves to sexual exploitation and abuse."

The court heard that one of the complainants described being in a "living hell" during the period of alleged abuse from 2004 to early 2012.

List of charges

The charges, spanning a period from 2004 to January of last year, relate to offences that are alleged to have been committed against girls aged between 11 and 16. They took 30 minutes to read out today in court. The men denied the charges.

Anjum Dogar, 30, faces three charges of conspiracy to rape, rape, facilitating child prostitution and a count of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

His brother Akhtar. 32, faces five counts of rape, three of conspiracy to rape, three of facilitating child prostitution and a count of trafficking for exploitation.

Kamar Jamil, 27, is charged with four counts of rape, three counts of conspiracy to rape, two counts of arranging the prostitution of a child and one count of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

Mohammed Karrar, 38, faces seven rape charges, four of conspiracy to rape, two of sex trafficking and two of facilitating child prostitution.

Karrar, 33, faces three counts of rape, three counts of conspiracy to rape, two counts of arranging or facilitating child prostitution, a count of trafficking for sexual exploitation and one of conspiracy to assault by instrument.

Assad Hussain, 32, is charged with three counts of sexual activity with a child and two of conspiracy to rape.

Mohammed Hussain, 24, is charged with conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child, rape and two counts of sexual activity with a child.

Bilal Ahmed, 26, faces charges of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child. Zeeshan Ahmed, 27, faces two counts of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child and two counts of sexual activity with a child.

A helpline has opened for parents worried about child sexual abuse. Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire County Council launched a confidential helpline for anyone concerned about a child who may be at risk of sexual exploitation.

The line will be available to take calls from people concerned about their own children or children they know. The helpline number is 01865 266255.

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