Furious victims of Rotherham’s child sexual exploitation scandal confronted disgraced police chief Shaun Wright to demand, ‘Go now’.
Victims and their families came forward to condemn Mr Wright publicly for his failure to resign, at an emotionally-charged meeting at Rotherham Town Hall yesterday.
One victim, Holly Archer, who is now 17, and has waived her legal right to anonymity to tell her story to The Star, told Wright police once found her with a known sex offender - but arrested her, and let her abuser go free. Holly, who got pregnant, but whose 17-day-old baby was taken into care last Christmas Eve, said Mr Wright’s excuses had been ‘sickening’ and called for him to resign immediately.
Mr Wright was subjected to repeated abuse from the public gallery during his appearance at the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel meeting.
But the defiant police commissioner continued to insist he will not stand down.
He left the meeting early, before the panel passed a motion of no confidence in him. Panel members said they will be writing to Home Secretary Theresa May to ask for new powers that would allow them to sack him.
One member of the panel, Coun Caven Vines, leader of Rotherham’s Ukip group, resigned immediately after the meeting in frustration at the panel’s lack of power to remove Mr Wright.
The PCC told the hearing ‘industrial-scale’ child abuse is still taking place across South Yorkshire.
But he insisted he was the right man to tackle the problem - and said he had been responsible for a massive increase in police officer numbers assigned to deal with the issue. During the heated meeting, one grandfather of an abuse victim told Mr Wright: “You are a disgrace. If I had a gun, I would shoot you.”
Mr Wright was also confronted by the sister of murdered Laura Wilson, who was 17 when she was stabbed to death in 2010 by Ashtiaq Ashgar after revealing her relationships with both him and another Muslim man, Ishaq Hussein, to their families.
Sarah Wilson told Mr Wright: “How can you deny everything you have done? You can’t even look me in the face.
“You have done nothing to support us. You should stand down.
“You should go, you should be out, the same as Joyce Thacker. You let my sister be murdered.”