Rotherham abuse trial: Asian politician ‘seen in brothel by teenage victim’

Arshid Hussain

Arshid Hussain

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An Asian politician related to the central defendant in the Rotherham child sexual exploitation trial was seen at a ‘brothel’ run by a grooming ring, a court heard.

An alleged teenage victim of the gang said she saw the local politician at a property in Masbrough where she was made to have sex with men.

Qurban Ali

Qurban Ali

She said the politician had been at the property but was ‘just sat drinking’.

The woman said she was plied with drink and drugs at the house and would wake up naked in different rooms, sometimes with used condoms nearby.

In two video interviews played to the jury at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday morning, she said she did not know the name of the politician but had seen him on television in the past.

The woman, who said she was made to work as a prostitute by central defendant Arshid Hussain from the age of 16 or 17, said she believed the politician was related to him.

In her first video interview from October 2014, she said she believed he may have been an MP or mayor of Rotherham ‘because I’ve seen him on telly’.

She said: “I know he was doing summat political in Rotherham.”

She described the man as being Asian, around 5ft7 and having black hair.

In her second interview, which was conducted in January 2015, she said the man may have been a councillor.

She said Arshid Hussain’s uncle Qurban Ali, who is also a defendant in the trial, had helped the man with his political career.

The woman, who is now aged 33, said: “Ash with the taxi rank was helping with the campaigning because they were related somehow.”

The woman told the court she had been ‘in and out of care’ and had started taking heroin at the age of 11.

She said she had started working for Speedline Taxis, owned by Qurban Ali, when she was around 16 years old.

She said Hussain gave her drugs for free for a few weeks, before eventually taking her to the red light district in Doncaster to work as a prostitute.

She said she was taken to Christ Church Road in Doncaster ‘three to four times’ a month.

“I had sex with strange men for money to give to Ash,” she said.

The woman said Hussain would slap her if she refused to go, while his brother ‘Bono’ had attacked her with a pool cue on one occasion.

She said the threat of violence made her agree to act as a prostitute.

The woman said: “It was easier than the alternative and getting a really good kicking wasn’t it? It was probably going to hurt a hell of a lot less than the alternative. Just, put up and shut up.’

She said her memory of the house in Masbrough where she was also taken was ‘really hazy’.

“We just took loads of drugs and then you’d have sex with different people. It was whoever was at the house at the time,” she said.

“And I think it depended on which who else, which of the girls were there, so I suppose it was run like, I suppose it was like a brothel-type thing.”

The woman said: “You’d go and sit in the front room, have a drink to the point where then you’re either asleep or unconscious or you don’t know where you are and then I couldn’t tell you what happened, but you’d never wake up in the room you was in dressed.

“You’d wake up in some random room with no clothes on - so how have you got from being sat there doing that to being there like that?”

Her alleged abuse occurred in the late 1990s and early 2000s and she said she struggled to remember specific incidents.

She said: “There was far too many drink and drugs involved. I suppose plying us full of drink and drugs doesn’t just make us pliable, it make it a lot harder for us to remember what they’ve done.”

Five men and two women deny a number of charges alleging they played a role in child sexual exploitation.

The trial continues.

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