Rotherham abuse trial: Police ‘secretly recorded rejecting potential DNA evidence against Arshid Hussain’

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Police officers were secretly recorded saying they didn’t want DNA evidence that could prove the central defendant in the Rotherham abuse trial had a child with an underage girl.

Sheffield Crown Court heard one of the women alleged to have been victims of Arshid Hussain had taped a conversation with officers in March 2013 using a hidden mobile phone.

The now 30-year-old woman, one of 12 complainants in the trial of five men and two women accused of being part of a Rotherham child grooming ring, had a child which Hussain accepts is his after being made pregnant when she was 15.

The woman, known as Girl J, said she had decided to tape the conversation because of her previous dealings with one of the officers involved in speaking to her about her alleged abuse, someone called Diane Garner.

Stephen Uttley, representing Hussain, suggested the woman had been ‘manipulating’ the police by secretly recording the conversation.

She said: “Not at all. I recorded it because I had known her when I was a child, known her when I were an adult and I didn’t feel like she was a good officer. I have had plenty of meetings with other officers and never recorded anybody else.

“It was just her because I knew I couldn’t trust her.”

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Mr Uttley asked why the woman had asked for that particular police officer not to be involved in her case.

She said: “I did actually say that. I said I didn’t want no officer in Rotherham to deal with it, I knew Ash [Arshid Hussain] knew officers and there were some I didn’t trust.”

Mr Uttley said a transcript of the conversation indicated the officers had been ‘trying to assist’.

The woman said: “I said I could provide DNA evidence and they are saying ‘No, we don’t want to take DNA’. I said ‘Can’t you speak to officers from the past as I could name them’, she turned round and said they are not going to come forward. Every time I told her something it was ‘Yeah, no we can’t do that’. I didn’t feel supported by that at all.”

Mr Uttley said DNA tests would have been unnecessary as his client already accepted the child was his and had been paying maintenance money.

The woman eventually gave an interview to police in August 2013 after her allegations about Arshid Hussain appeared in The Times newspaper.

Asked why she had spoken to The Times and other media organisations, the woman said: “I went to the media because I didn’t think the police would do a good job, it is as simple as that.”

She said she had never received payment for any story, despite being offered money by some journalists.

Mr Uttley said the woman is suing South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Council and suggested she had made allegations against Arshid Hussain for financial reasons.

She said: “If I was, I would have accepted all the money from the media.”

The trial continues.