Evidence in Court reignited the debate about reported deal, where an alleged Sexual Abuse victim was handed over to the Police by her alleged exploiter, Arshad (Ash) Hussain; in return for his not being prosecuted….. a deal allegedly brokered by the now deceased PC Ali and former Councillor Jahangir Akhtar.
The handover, the victim alleges, was to protect Ash, not her.
In August 2013 this was reported in The Times by Andrew Norfolk. It also printed Jahangir Akhtar’s denial of involvement other than giving the Police the telephone number of Arshad Hussain’s mother.
The allegation was sufficient for the Chief Executive of Rotherham Council, Martin Kimber, to immediately request a Police inquiry. Causing the temporary resignation of Akhtar as Deputy Council leader and Vice-Chairman of the Police and Crime Panel (the main scrutiny body for SYPolice.)
Leaks have told us about Martin Kimber’s role, the only other information about the inquiry is that a few months later Akhtar was exonerated.
More than that, we did not know…that is maybe until recently In the Rotherham Grooming trial.
A Detective Con Stephanek said he had been ordered to speak to PC Ali about the allegations and report back to his Chief Inspector. He dates this as August 2013.
DC Stephanek said that Ali and his then shift partner PC Appleby denied knowledge of such a swap; this was confirmed by an absence of anything in PC Ali’s police pocket note book. This latter phrasing by Stephanek is also interesting…as we have heard elsewhere that Ali’s pocket books for this period had gone missing.
What else is interesting about this evidence?
That DC Stephanik was not asked to, nor did he or another officer, interview the young woman making the allegation, or Andrew Norfolk (the Times journalist reporting the allegations) or formally Jahangir Akhtar himself.
That in response to a request by a major partner of the Police, the un-named Chief Inspector allocated the inquiry to a humble detective constable.
With a brief only to interview two police officers who, if the allegation proved correct would at least have been subject to disciplinary procedures, if not criminal charges.
Meaning that as late as October 2013, when Akhtar’s exoneration was announced, the Police were still intent upon applying a “minimum” level of response to serious CSE allegations.
It would be interesting to know who that Chief Inspector was, and what the Chief Constable knew. Given Akhtar’s SYP scrutiny role, one would expect the Chief Constable to be more than on nodding acquaintance with the inquiry.