Rotherham abuse trial: Defendant travelled to Pakistan and made calls to alleged victim while under investigation

Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Rotherham, South Yorkshire
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A convicted criminal accused of being involved in a Rotherham child grooming ring went to Pakistan while under investigation last year.

Sheffield Crown Court heard defendant Basharat Hussain made several phone calls to one of the now-adult women who have made allegations against him while he was out of the UK.

Under cross-examination from Gillian Batts, representing Hussain, the woman said she had taken ‘about three’ phone calls from him.

The woman, who says her sexual abuse started when she was 15, denied an accusation from Miss Batts that she had told him ‘information the police had given you about the state of the investigation’.

Miss Batts said the woman had told Hussain details about other women ‘on board with the police investigation’ and ‘what they had said’.

The now 30-year-old woman, known as Girl L, said this was not the case and she had been trying to find out when he was coming back.

She said she did not know who else had made allegations against Hussain, who is 39, and what they had said.

“The police would never divulge anything like that,” she said.

The court was told the woman had been involved in an abusive relationship with Hussain into her adult years and he would repeatedly slap, punch, kick and spit on her and had made threats to kill her and her brother in the past.

She said there had been times when she believed she loved him but she said she now realised it had been an abusive relationship.

She said: “As a grown adult, 15 years of my life has been completely horrific. It wasn’t a proper relationship – being spat on, strangled and controlled.”

Miss Batts told the court that after a fight in a nightclub on New Year’s Eve 2006, Hussain went ‘on the run’ and travelled to Pakistan. She said he had wanted the girl – then in her early 20s – to go with him.

She said the girl had gone to the airport and only not flown out because she was unable to get a visa.

The woman had previously told the court she decided not to go at the last minute because she ‘knew what my life would be’ if she went. She accepted she had stayed in contact with Hussain during two separate occasions when he was sent to prison – the second time being in relation to the nightclub incident.

The trial of five men and two women accused of child sexual exploitation crimes continues.