A RESTAURANT owner plied a teenage girl with free alcohol before raping her when she had passed out, a court has heard.

Shibbir Ahmed denies a charge of rape and three counts of sexual assault against two victims relating to two separate incidents which allegedly took place nearly ten years apart.

At Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday, the court heard Ahmed allegedly lured both young girls to the restaurant he was managing, Tandoori Villa in Stanway, with the promise of free booze and food.

A police interview with the alleged rape victim, who says she was assaulted between July 2007 and July 2008, was played to the jury.

In it she said she and a friend visited the restaurant on three or four occasions, each time being given alcohol despite being under age.

“We went because of the alcohol and we could not get drink anywhere else,” she said.

“We went a couple of times and it was fun. One time I got really drunk and he moved me to a couch at the front of the restaurant.”

She said when she woke up she found him performing an indecent act on her.

She first reported the incident to Essex Police in 2013. Ahmed was arrested but released without charge.

Ahmed, of Coronation Avenue, Colchester, is also accused of having touched another woman inappropriately over her clothing in July 2016.

Diana Pygott, prosecuting, said: “She said she had known him for about ten years because she used to go to the restaurant with her family.”

The court heard Ahmed offered her a job on Friday and Saturday evening.

However, when she turned down the offer, he began texting her and told her to bring her friends to the restaurant for free food at “Muirs house”.

Mrs Pygott said: “She told him they did not have any money but he said ‘When you go to Muirs’ house you do not have to worry about money’.”

On one visit to the restaurant when she was alone, she alleges Ahmed grabbed her breast and tried to kiss her.

Ms Pygott said: “They sat down and continued talking and he put his hand on her thigh. She tried to move his hand but he was stronger than her.”

She also alleges he then grabbed her breasts a second time.

The 58-year-old denies all of the charges against him.

The trial, which is set to last four days, continues.