TEN men appeared at Bradford Crown Court yesterday charged with preying on two vulnerable teenage girls in care.

Opening the prosecution case, Kama Melly QC told the court how the girls, who were both in care at the time, were "vulnerable to manipulation".

She said:“Girls in care don’t always see the exploitation and manipulation but that does not mean the exploitation was not occurring."

Basharat Khaliq, 37, of Bradford, pleaded not guilty to one charge of assault by penetration and five charges of rape.

Saeed Akhtar, 54, of Bradford, denies two charges of causing or inciting child prostitution and one charge of rape.

Naveed Akhtar, 42, of Bradford, and Izar Hussain, 31, of Bradford, deny three charges of rape, with Hussain also denying an additional allegation of attempted rape.

Mohammed Usman, 30, of Bradford, and Kieran Harris, 27, of Dewsbury, both pleaded not guilty to two charges of rape.

Yasar Majid, 36, of Milton Keynes, denies a single charge of rape, and Fahim Iqbal, 27, of no fixed abode, pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting rape.

Zeeshan Ali, 31, of Bradford, denies a single charge of sexual assault.

Parvaze Ahmed, 35, of Bradford, denies three charges of rape.

The court was told how the men were arrested after the partner of one of the alleged victims rang a BBC TV studio following a report on sexual abuse.

The girl asked her partner to call the BBC Look North studio to detail her alleged abuse after viewing a piece relating to a sex abuse gangs in Rotherham.

Ms Melly told the court: “Frustrated at the lack of coverage... her partner contacted Look North, telling them the abuse was ‘much wider than Rotherham’.”

Look North gave the name of the victim to police safeguarding after they were contacted.

Police then began an investigation and ten men were arrested and charged with sexual offences.

Ms Melly told the court how one victim, who was aged 14 at the beginning of her alleged abuse, was a resident of a care home after having a turbulent upbringing.

The court heard how she ran away from the home with a friend, who was also 14, after acquiring a bottle of vodka and was approached by a man in a car.

In the months that followed, Ms Melly said they were subjected to a range of sexual abuse at the hands of the ten men through a variety of different methods “to satisfy their sexual desires”.

The prosecutor described how police had spoken to one of the victims after her number was found on a piece of paper during West Yorkshire Police's Operation Kellerabbey, which investigated sexual exploitation in Keighley.

But the prosecutor said nothing was done by police until years later when the victim rang the television studio.

The court heard how workers at the care home where both girls lived had concerns about where the victims were when they would repeatedly run away - but because it was not a restrictive unit they had no power to stop the teens.

Ms Melly said when a worker raised concerns about Basharat Khaliq they were “told by managers he could not describe him as an abuser”.

Concluding her opening, Ms Melly added: "“These girls were sadly ripe and vulnerable to manipulation.”

The trial continues.