Barrister claims Sheffield man has been wrongly snared by a 'juggernaut' of sexploitation cases
A barrister has told a trial jury that his client who is accused of sexually abusing a schoolgirl has been wrongly snared among the rise of sexual exploitation investigations.
Faisal Hussain, aged 34, Azad Raja and Yasser Hussain, both aged 38, have all denied sexual offences relating to two complainants who were aged around 13 at the time of the alleged crimes, according to an on-going Sheffield Crown Court trial.
Jayne Louise Beckett, prosecuting, said the case dates back to around early 2001 and involves the alleged sexual abuse of two girls who were friends and may have been as young as 13 years-old.
Faisal Hussain, of Lovetot Road, Kimberworth, Rotherham, claimed to police he did not know the girls and he has pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecent assault concerning the second complainant.
Defence barrister Hugh Barton, representing Faisal Hussain, said: “My client’s life was really turned upside down. Police came to his home out of the clear blue sky in relation to allegations when he was a child.”
Mr Barton added the delay in bringing any case places his client in an unfair position and poses a possible miscarriage of justice.
He pointed out this case follows a separate unrelated, historical and high-profile case in Rotherham, where men preyed on girls 20 years ago.
Mr Barton said: “There can be little doubt these girls were let down by a great many people and this was a particularly shameful episode in South Yorkshire’s history.”
But he argued such cases meant the authorities have responded by investigating a raft of complaints where some would be truthful, some would be confused and others may have agendas.
He said: “The juggernaut continues to roll on fuelled by public outrage with a desire to right the wrongs of the past and no doubt stoked by press coverage.”
Mr Barton said the second complainant’s allegations against Faisal Hussain surfaced years after they were said to have happened and both complainants have made compensation claims.
He said: “By trying to right the wrongs of the past there is a danger you create new wrongs. In such cases miscarriages of justice will occur.”
Mr Barton described one of the complaints as an “incomplete fragment of a memory” at an unknown location.
He argued the position leads to confusion and inconsistency and he described the second complainant’s account as “hazy” after she had referred to Faisal Hussain as a tall man aged in his 20s.
The jury heard Faisal Hussain has been convicted of a sexual offence relating to when he was aged 14 but Mr Barton said his client maintains he was wrongly convicted.
Mr Barton said Faisal Hussain has learning difficulties and described him as “vulnerable” and “low-hanging fruit”.
Azad Raja, of Adney Street, Sheffield, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecent assault concerning the first complainant and he said he had believed she was aged 16 and they had been in a relationship that only involved kissing and hugging.
Yasser Hussain, of Norborough Road, Tinsley, Sheffield, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecent assault against this same complainant.
He said he had never had any physical contact or sexual involvement with her.
Yasser Hussain has already been found not guilty of raping this complainant.
The trial continues.