Rotherham abuse trial: Jury retires to consider verdicts

Arshid Hussain arrives at Sheffield Crown Court
Arshid Hussain arrives at Sheffield Crown Court

A jury has started considering its verdicts in the trial of seven people accused of playing roles in a Rotherham child grooming ring.

The jury was sent out on Wednesday morning in the case, which started in early December.

For two months Sheffield Crown Court has heard allegations that teenage girls were repeatedly raped, beaten, passed between abusers and used as prostitutes.

Five men and two women deny dozens of charges in relation to allegations of historic child sexual exploitation offences relating to 12 now-adult women from the Rotherham area.

While the majority of the allegations relate to the town, some of the offences are said to have occurred in Sheffield, with other allegations relating to Blackpool and London.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between 1987 and 2003.

The jury was told that one girl was locked in a house for weeks as she was forced to have sex with a succession of men.

The court also heard that a 12-year-old girl was forced to perform sex acts with a group of men in a car after she was picked up from a children’s home, another girl was called a “white bitch and trash” after she was forced to have oral sex, and the mother of one alleged victim was threatened with her house being firebombed.

At the beginning of the trial, prosecutor Michelle Colborne QC told the jurors they would hear from women who were “targeted, sexualised and in some instances subjected to acts of a degrading and violent nature” when they were teenagers. She said a number of these girls became pregnant during the abuse.

Some were living in children’s homes where, in one case, “seemingly no-one was interested in whether she returned in a bloodied state”.

As she sent the jury out to consider their verdicts, Judge Sarah Wright told them they should seek to reach unanimous verdicts.

Arshid Hussain, 40, Qurban Ali, 53, Majid Bostan, 37, Sajid Bostan, 38, Basharat Hussain, 39, Karen MacGregor, 58, and Shelley Davies, 40, deny a range of charges.