Rotherham Council urged to take action on CSE - five years after ringleader of sex gang is jailed

Rotherham Council has been urged to take action on CSE – five years after the ringleader of a sex gang was jailed for 35 years for abusing children.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 2:43 pm

Harrowing accounts from survivors of child sexual exploitation were read out at a Rotherham Council meeting this week, during which the authority was urged to take action.

Conservative councillors called on the Labour administration to review its internal procedures for handling reports of CSE, after alleging that it is still happening and more needs to be done.

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Arshid Hussain was jailed for a minimum of 35 years for child sexual exploitation offences. He was the ringleader of a gang.

The group tabled a motion calling for the council to acknowledge that “CSE may be occurring on the same scale as in the past”, and to take action to tackle child sexual exploitation.

In 2014, a report by Professor Alexa Jay revealed how at least 1,400 children were raped, trafficked and abused between 1997 and 2013 by men of predominantly Pakistani heritage while those in authority turned a blind eye for fear of being seen as racist.

The National Crime Agency set up Operation Stovewood in 2014 to work on historic cases of CSE in Rotherham and a team of 200 officers are involved.

To date 20 people have been convicted of offences and handed prison sentences totalling around 250 years.

Sammy Woodhouse lifted the lid on CSE in Rotherham when she presented evidence to a national newspaper that proved she was abused and then failed by authorities, which led the prosecution of her rapist and the gang he led in the town.

Known as ‘Mad Ash’, Arshid Hussain, now in his 40s, was convicted of 23 offences against nine victims after denying all charges against him.

He made several of his victims pregnant, but Sammy did give birth to his son when she was 15.

Sammy was among 15 victims who gave evidence against Hussain and four others, including his younger brothers Basharat Hussain and Bannaras Hussain, during a trial after which the gang members were jailed for a total of 102 years.

Ringleader Arshid Hussain, of East Cowick, Goole, was jailed for 35 years for grooming, raping and abusing teenage girls in Rotherham.

His brothers Basharat and Bannaras got 25 years and 19 years respectively.

When they were jailed, Judge Sarah Wright told the gang: “The harm you have caused is of unimaginable proportions.”