South Yorkshire peer appears in court with two brothers over child sex accusations
Rotherham peer Lord Nazir Ahmed has appeared in court with two of his brothers accused of historic child sex offences.
Lord Ahmed has been charged with two counts of attempted rape and one count of indecent assault dating back to the early 1970s when he was a teenager.
The 61-year-old appeared at Sheffield Magistrates' Court this morning along with two of his brothers.
Mohamed Farouq, 68, of Worrygoose Lane, Whiston, Rotherham, is charged with four counts of indecent assault against a boy under 14.
Mohammed Tariq, 63, of Gerard Road, Moorgate, Rotherham, is charged with two counts of indecent assault against a boy under 14.
The charges against Ahmed relate to two complainants - a boy and a girl - and to alleged incidents between 1971 and 1974, when he was a teenager.
The indecent assault charge relates to a boy under 14.
Ahmed, of East Bawtry Road, Whiston, Rotherham, stood in the dock with his brothers, wearing a dark suit and navy tie.
He spoke to confirm his name, date of birth, address and his nationality as British.
Ahmed entered no pleas during the 10-minute hearing but his solicitor, Haroon Shah, said he would be pleading not guilty to all the charges.
Farouq and Tariq entered not guilty pleas during Tuesday's hearing.
All three men were granted bail to appear at Sheffield Crown Court on April 16.
Speaking outside court on behalf of Ahmed before the hearing, Mr Shah said: "He denies the allegations and he will be doing everything he can in order to prove his innocence."
Ahmed was born in Pakistan-governed Kashmir but his political roots are in Rotherham, where he grew up and still lives.
Educated locally, he joined the Labour Party at 18 and served for a decade on Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.
After studying at Sheffield Hallam University, he ran a chain of shops in his home town and became a property developer.
He was made a life peer in 1998 and made regular media appearances, where he was often called on to comment on issues facing British Muslims.
Ahmed resigned from the Labour Party in 2013.