Rotherham trial: Girl ‘told family home would be burnt down if she didn’t go with abusers’

Arshid Hussain arrives at Sheffield Crown Court
Arshid Hussain arrives at Sheffield Crown Court
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A Rotherham grooming gang threatened to burn down the family home of an alleged abuse victim to keep a ‘hold on her’, the girl’s mother has said.

The girl, who is one of 12 women said to have been child sexual exploitation victims in the town between the late 1980s and early 2000s, was allegedly subjected to almost a decade of abuse beginning shortly after she started secondary school.

Five men and two women deny playing roles in the alleged abuse of the girls, who are all now adults.

The mother of Girl B wept as she told a jury at Sheffield Crown Court her daughter felt she had no choice but to go with ‘Asian men’ who came to the family home.

The woman said her daughter had told her she feared what would happen if she did not leave with men who came to the house and waited on the street in cars for her when she was aged around 13 or 14.

Michelle Colborne QC, prosecuting, said: “What did your daughter say was going to happen?”

The woman said: “My house would get set on fire if she didn’t go when they told her to. I had to let her go.

“She was 13,14, something like that. They had a hold on her.”

She had earlier told the court that something had once been ‘pushed through the letterbox’ as threats were made to her daughter.

The woman, who told the court on Monday that police and social services had failed to act despite her providing them with an exercise book her daughter had filled in with details of her abuse, said of the trial: “I have waited years for this to come.”

Under cross-examination, the woman said her daughter had lied to her when she was a teenager about where she would go and who she would be with.

She said it was because her daughter was ‘frightened’ about what might happen.

The woman said: “When you are in that situation she was in and I was in - she is frightened for her family that something might happen, she is going to tell me a pack of lies to protect me and protect her family. I do know that for sure.”

The woman said Asian men in their 20s had been coming to the house ‘a few times a week’ in search of her daughter.

She said: “It got really bad.

“I told them not to come to the home as they were too old and she were only a child.”

The trial continues.