Alleged Rotherham abuse victim told police she had been raped a decade ago - but case didn't proceed

Defendants accused of child sexual exploitation offences in Rotherham arrive at court
Defendants accused of child sexual exploitation offences in Rotherham arrive at court

An alleged child sexual exploitation victim from Rotherham reported to police on two occasions more than a decade ago that she had been repeatedly raped - but no case proceeded, a court heard.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the family of the girl, who was aged 13 when her alleged abuse started, also wrote to the then Home Secretary to highlight what they said was happening to her at the hands of a group of Asian males.

The Home Secretary at the time was Sheffield MP David Blunkett.

Details were revealed as eight men - including two brothers and two of their cousins - went on trial at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday facing allegations of abusing three girls in the Rotherham area between 1999 and 2003.

Michelle Colborne QC, prosecuting, told a jury that the central complainant in the case, who is now 27, had first reported allegations of abuse to the police on two occasions in April and October 2003.

She said that in April 2003, the girl, who cannot be named, made an allegation she had been repeatedly raped by defendant Sageer Hussain, who she said had also physically attacked her.

Ms Colborne said the girl later asked for the case to be dropped.

She said her clothing seized at the time was lost and no scientific examination ever conducted.

Ms Colborne said the girl made further disclosures to the police in October 2003 about other men involved her alleged abuse - but the case did not proceed after her family were subjected to threats.

"The girl and her family were being subjected to threats and intimidation by those men and were very frightened," she said.

"They sought help from social services and the police.

"They wrote to their Member of Parliament and the Home Secretary."

She said the family eventually moved from South Yorkshire to Spain to get away from the men who were exploiting her.

The court heard how she later worked with victims of sexual exploitation and wrote a book about the subject, as well as appearing in a TV documentary.

Ms Colborne said the now-adult woman contacted police again in September 2013 to tell them the accounts she had given 10 years before were true.

Opening the case at the beginning of a six-week trial, she said the case involves allegations of child sexual exploitation said to have occurred 13 years ago in the Rotherham area.

She said girls were 'targeted, sexualised and in some instances subjected to attacks of a degrading and violent nature at the hands of these men'.

"These were local girls - some had perfectly normal lives but were lured by the excitement and friendship of older Asian males."

She said the prosecution allege Sageer Hussain played a key role in 'befriending young girls who were flattered that he and his friends wanted to spend time with them'.

Ms Colborne said that in the case of the central complainant, Hussain 'used her for his own gratification and passed her to friends, older brothers and associates'.

Among the other defendants are two of his cousins - Mohammed Whied and Asif Ali - as well as his older brother Basharat Hussain.

Ms Colborne added: "In the space of months, she had gone from being a normal happy child from a stable supportive family to one who was secretive and distant.

"Her mother watched her daughter change from a loving, lovely girl to one she describes as horrible and she was powerless to control it."

Ms Colborne said the girl moved into a 'life of deceit and fear' after being 'lured into that life'.

She said: "They told her she owed them something because they had given her cigarettes, alcohol and cannabis.

"As time moved on, the threats became nasty in nature. They threatened to gang-rape her mother and they made it clear they were serious."

She said that on one occasion, two of the defendants - Masoued Malik and Naeem Rafiq - took her to the flat of a man described by the girl as a 'Kosovan refugee' called Zalgai Ahmadi where she was forced to perform sex acts on a number of men.

Other incidents are said to have occurred in an alleyway by Boots in Rotherham town centre and at Clifton Park.

Ms Colborne said the men involved in the case deny any wrongdoing.

She told the jury that barristers for the men will label the central complainant as a 'liar'.

"It will be suggested she is interested in profiting from these disclosures financially," she said.

Ms Colborne said it will be up to the jury to decide 'if she is telling a tale or retelling events from well over a decade ago that have had a profound effect on her and her family's lives'.

Sageer Hussain, 30, of Clough Road, Rotherham, denies four rapes and one indecent assault.

Mohammed Whied, 32, of Psalters Lane, Rotherham, denies one count of aiding and abetting rape.

Ishtiaq Khaliq, 33, of Cherry Brook, Rotherham, denies one rape and three indecent assaults.

Waleed Ali, 34, of Canklow Road, Rotherham, denies one rape and one indecent assault.

Asif Ali, 30, of Clough Road, Rotherham, denies one rape.

Masoued Malik, 32, of Bridgewater Way, Rotherham, denies one rape, one count of conspiracy to commit indecent assault and one of false imprisonment.

Basharat Hussain, 40, from Goole, denies one indecent assault.

Naeem Rafiq, 33, of Clarenden Road, Rotherham, denies one count of conspiracy to commit indecent assault and one of false imprisonment.

The case continues.