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Two men in Bristol charged as a part of Operation Brooke

Two men have appeared in court, in Bristol, charged with raping underage girls who were under the care of social workers. The victims had been placed in the home, which the court heard was supported housing, by social workers. The men, one of whom is an asylum seeker who has been given the right to remain in the country by the Home Office, are accused of child sexual exploitation, which includes sexual activity at the home. One of them is also charged with paying a child for sexual services. Said Zakaria, 21,  is charged with sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl and rape of a girl aged 14 at the Premier Inn and the home. Gama Mohammed, 32,  whom the court heard was an asylum seeker, spoke through an interpreter to confirm his name, age and address. He is charged with rape at the same home and paying for the sexual services of a child. They both denied all the charges at Bristol Magistrates' Court on Friday.

Appearing separately, the two Somali men were remanded in custody. They are due to appear at Bristol Crown Court on October 10.

The court heard that the defendants had been arrested as part of Operation Brooke – an investigation working with child exploitation teams.

Before the hearing, DCI Carolyn Belafonte, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: "Operation Brooke is a dynamic investigation; we're working closely with the Barnardo's child sexual exploitation team and other partner agencies to follow up every line of enquiry and, most importantly, ensure that victims are well supported.

Bristol Evening Post 23rd Sept 2013