Passports taken off Rotherham child abuse defendants ahead of Crown Court date

Karen MacGregor, one of the defendants in Operation Clover

Karen MacGregor, one of the defendants in Operation Clover

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Six defendants charged as part of a major police investigation into Rotherham child sexual exploitation are to appear at Sheffield Crown Court later this week.

The four men and two women are among eight people charged so far as part of Operation Clover, an investigation into historic abuse offences in the town.

Qurban Ali, one of the defendants in Operation Clover

Qurban Ali, one of the defendants in Operation Clover

Four of the group attended Rotherham Magistrates Court this afternoon, with a fifth, Arshid Hussain, appearing via video link from his bed.

Hussain, aged 40, has been charged with 46 offences, including indecent assault, procuring of a female to have sexual intercourse and six counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.

Four other defendants appeared at Magistrates Court today, including Majid Ali Bostan, 37, who has been charged with indecent assault.

Also in attendance who was 52-year-old Qurban Ali, who has been charged with indecent assault, rape and procuring a child to have unlawful sexual intercourse with another.

Karen MacGregor, 58, has been charged with conspiring to procure a child to become a common prostitute and unlawful imprisonment.

Forty-year-old Shelley Davies has been charged with conspiracy to procure a child to become a common prostitute and unlawful imprisonment.

MacGregor, Davies, Ali and Hussain are also jointly charged with conspiracy to rape.

All were granted an extension of conditional bail that has required them to hand in their passports. The court was told Hussain does not have a passport.

District judge John Foster accepted an application to prevent the publication of the defendants’ addresses.

The application was challenged by The Star on the grounds of the importance of open justice, but Mr Foster said the high-profile nature of the case and concerns about the safety of the defendants meant he would impose the reporting restriction.

All five were bailed to another hearing at Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday, where they are due to appear alongside Bostan’s brother Sajid Bostan, who has been charged with 11 offences, including unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13 and indecent assault.

Hussain, who uses a wheelchair, had previously failed to attend an earlier magistrates’ court hearing on June 25 due to ill-health but was told must attend the Crown Court in person.

As part of the same investigation, two of Hussain’s brothers have also been charged - Bannaras Hussain, 35, with 22 offences and Sageer Hussain, 29, with four counts of rape of a girl under 16.

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