More than 1,400 children were sexually abused over a 16 year period by gangs of paedophiles after police and council bosses turned a blind eye and victim blamed the victims
A corrupt police officer had sex with young girls and gave drugs to a man accused of abusing children, a court heard last month.
Arshid Hussain, Basharat Hussain, Qurban Ali, Majid Bostan, Sajid Bostan, Karen MacGregor and Shelley Davies are on trial at Sheffield Crown Court. They deny over 60 charges relating to child sexual abuse. The alleged offences took place between the late 1980s and 2003.
Last month one complainant, known as Girl B, said she told detective constable Kenneth Dawes she was being abused in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
Michelle Colborne QC asked how she first came into contact with Dawes. She said Dawes “used to come to houses where we were”.
“He used to have sex with girls and he used to take drugs from people and pass them on to Ash,” she said.
The jury has heard that Arshid Hussain and Qurban Ali were known as Mad Ash and Blind Ash respectively.
The court heard that Girl B was abused from the age of 11 and that Arshid Hussain made her have sex with other men he owed money to.
Tahir Khan QC accused her of making up the abuse and asked whether she told anyone about it at the time.
She replied, “I told that officer, nothing happened. I told my mum, nothing happened. I told the care home, nothing happened. Why would I tell anybody else if all I’m going to be called is a promiscuous girl?”
Defence lawyers questioned her about inconsistencies relating to dates, locations and details of abuse in four police interviews in 2014 and 2015. She told the court, “I am standing by what I said.”
Girl B said that she had a baby in March 2000 after being raped by Arshid Hussain and Sajid Bostan. The court heard that her abusers previously forced her to have two abortions.
She said she “wasn’t in a good way” and was taking heroin when she began a consenting sexual relationship with Bostan in 1999.
The court also heard that she was locked in a house owned by Karen MacGregor, forced to have sex with men and given heroin in return.
Girl B said she was beaten by MacGregor and Shelley Davies when she tried to escape.
The court heard how another complainant was called a liar when, aged 12, she tried to report her abuse to a police officer.
In a police interview she said the officer “ripped up loads of paperwork and said I was lying.”
The witness said she was made to perform sex acts on three men in a car after being taken out by Basharat Hussain.
She said, “They took us out and paid for the meal. I did not feel I could say no. I was a 12 year old girl. I just thought it is what I had to do.”
Another alleged victim, Girl E, gave evidence last month. The court heard that she met Basharat Hussain when she was around 14 and that he forced her to store guns and drugs in her bedroom.
In video evidence Girl E described a series of physical and sexual assaults at the hands of Basharat and Arshid Hussain.
On one occasion she said, “They poured petrol on my feet and then I heard other people having sex. I thought I was going to die.”
She also said Basharat Hussain had held a gun to her head and threatened to kill her and her family.
“I knew what they were capable of,” she said. “People bowed down to them.”
Gillian Batts, representing Hussain, asked her why she told police she hadn’t been abused during an interview in October 2014.
Girl E said, “I did not want anything to do with it at first. I didn’t want to make a complaint.”
Girl E said her relationship with Hussain had been “mainly fine” in a statement in 2003 after he was arrested for drug offences. Batts said this would have been a chance for her to report the abuse.
Girl E said, “For who to believe me? It was a relief they had got him and he had gone, that was my way out.”
She said that Basharat Hussain “owned everybody” and that she had lied “to protect myself and my family”.
Batts said that Girl E’s claims were inspired by the 2014 Jay report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. Girl E said, “They are not inspirations, it was my life.”
Some 12 complainants are expected to give evidence to the court over the course of the trial, which resumed this week.