Sexual exploitation trial: Buckingham accused claims ‘I am not Bling’
Jerome Joe, 35, of Pightle Crescent, Buckingham, denies one count of multiple rape, and one count of multiple sex with a child.
He was arrested in September last year as part of the Operation Articulate investigation into child sexual exploitation, and appears alongside 10 other defendants.
On Monday prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC outlined the case for the Crown.
The prosecution alleges that Joe met his alleged victim (known as Woman A to protect her identity) when she was aged 14.
At this time, according to the Crown, the girl was already being abused by multiple men, who had taken advantage of her vulnerability.
Woman A believes that she met Joe through a mutual friend, and that soon afterwards they began having sex.
She says that Joe had sex with her at his home once or twice a month for around six months.
Mr Saxby said that Woman A described the situation as ‘weird’.
She says the flat was filled with professional photographs and expensive stereo equipment. Joe told her he had worked as a model, she says.
The prosecution says that attempts to have sex with the teenager caused her to suffer internal cuts.
Mr Saxby said: “To her, he was known as Bling, this is what she called him.
“Presumably because he always wore lots of jewellery - a neck chain, bracelets, a prominent watch and so on.
“When Woman A spoke to the police in 2014 she still had his phone number. Checks showed that this phone number was registered in Jerome Joe’s name.”
The court heard that when he was being booked into custody he said: “I am not Bling, I know a black guy called Bling that looks like me but it’s not me.”
The jury was told that Joe denies all of the charges and says that the case is one of mistaken identity.
The case continues...