Shah ‘in threesome with girl of 14 and prostitute’

Former newspaper proprietor Eddy Shah, who founded the now-defunct Today newspaper, arrives at the Old Bailey in London. Picture: PA

Former newspaper proprietor Eddy Shah, who founded the now-defunct Today newspaper, arrives at the Old Bailey in London. Picture: PA

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FORMER newspaper proprietor Eddy Shah took part in threesomes with a prostitute and a schoolgirl, a court was told yesterday.

The girl was taken to various hotels by Susan Davies to have sex with Shah in her presence and also with Davies participating, jurors were told.

The abuse was said to have taken place in the early 1990s and the girl waited nearly 20 years to tell police.

Gillian Etherton QC, prosecuting, said Shah, Davies and her former lover, Anthony Pallant, were arrested on sex charges involving the underage girl in September 2011.

They all denied sexual impropriety towards the girl, accusing her of “a series of lies, malice or pure fantasy that never happened”.

Ms Etherton told the Old Bailey: “These allegations are about child abuse. She was a young girl who should have had the protection of the considerably older adults around her.

“Instead, she was used by these adults for their own selfish personal needs, resulting in her sexual abuse.”

Ms Etherton said Davies was pivotal to the case and had worked for many years as an escort and prostitute.

“She is a woman of few moral scruples,” added Ms Etherton.

Shah, 69, of Chippenham, Wiltshire, denies six counts of raping a girl under 16.

Anthony Pallant, 53, of West Malling, Kent, denies six counts of rape and indecent assault. Susan Davies, 53, of Swanley, Kent, denies 14 counts of aiding and abetting rape, indecent
assault and child cruelty.

The offences are alleged to have happened when the girl was between the ages of 12 and 15.

Shah, who is charged under his birth name of Selim Shah, founded the now-defunct Today newspaper in 1986. He now owns golf courses, leisure centres and hotels and is an author.

After his arrest, Shah allegedly told police he had known
Davies as a prostitute for many years. He had kept in touch with her on the phone over the years because he wanted to “keep that line of communication open, just in case”.

He told officers “he was fearful of repercussions that they would say he had slept with the girl”, which he denied doing.

Ms Etherton told the court Davies was “bullying and controlling” towards the schoolgirl.

The girl told police she was taken by Davies to a hotel to meet Shah when she was 14.

They went to his suite and Davies and Shah went into an adjoining room. Shah allegedly came out, knelt down and asked the girl if she wanted to go through into the suite. The girl said no and Shah left.

When she left with Davies, the girl was warned to do what she was told next time.

“Thereafter and always in hotels, sexual acts took place between Eddy Shah, Susan Davies and the girl,” said Ms Etherton.

“She said she had to deal with it, so became robotic. She knew what was happening was bad and still could not believe it.”

The girl said she last had sex with Shah when she was 15.

Ms Etherton said most of the charges were specimen counts reflecting a series of offences. The defendants sat in the dock three feet away from each other.

Shah’s wife, wheelchair-user and actress Jennifer White Shah, sat at the back of the court.

The trial continues today.

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