It is alleged that an Asian shop owner and eighteen other Asian men have gang raped a fourteen year old African girl at the back of their hair & beauty shop in the Perry Barr area, Birmingham. The incident is said to have occurred when the Asian shop keeper locked her in the store after catching her attempting to steal a weave/wig. The store is said to be notorious for following African British customers around when they are looking for products and even locking in customers when they feel their are too many in the store at any one time. The teenager who is said to have pleaded for the shopkeeper not to call the Police is said to be an unofficial immigrant from Jamaica who was fearful of forced deportation by the British Authorities.
Speculative reports from several Birmingham community radio stations are stating there are claims that the fourteen year old offered herself to the shop keeper to prevent arrest and it was at this point he locked her up in the shop and called for his friends to participate in her rape before releasing her the next day. However due to the fact that the teenage victim hasn’t come forward to make an official police complaint the whole story remains unconfirmed.
Mass community protests with up to 300 African men and women were held outside stores in Perry Bar on Tuesday evening, 18 October 2005 blocking all traffic in the area. An emergency community meeting was also held at the African Caribbean Self-Help Organisation in Heathfield Road, Handsworth on the same night where a decision was made to economically close down all Asian owned hair shops in the area. Following this news it is now confirmed several of the hair and beauty shops in the area have not opened for business. However there are now some suggestions that the store where the incident took place is part of a two store chain called ‘Beauty Queen’ possibly owned by Eastern Europeans. The larger of the two shops is on Soho Rd, Handsworth and the other is on Wellington Rd, Perry Barr.
Nonetheless the ethnicity of the assailants has been repeatedly described by close sources to the family as 'Asian' and not Chinese. There is no further breakdown specifying whether this means of Indian or Pakistani descent. The story which failed to make national media headlines was covered on Birmingham’s local central news programme. The Police have stated they believe an “incident” took place but have not yet received an allegation of rape. They have requested the teenager come forward stating they will deal with any allegations in confidence and with sensitively.
External LinksiBirmingham - Angry demonstrations over rape claimsBBC - Assault protest stops traffic
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