AN alleged child sexual exploitation victim from Rotherham reported to police 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 at the time her alleged abuse began, also wrote to the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett, to highlight what they said was happening to her at the hands of a group of Asian males.
Details were revealed as eight men went on trial at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday accused of abusing three girls in the Rotherham area between 1999 and 2003.
Rotherham CSE trial: Sex abuse ’caused victim to flee UK’
An alleged victim of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham fled the country with her family to escape those abusing her, a court has heard.
The girl, now 27, went to police in 2003 claiming she had been repeatedly raped when she was 13 years old, Sheffield Crown Court was told.
Eight men are on trial charged in connection with the sexual exploitation of three girls between 1999 and 2003.
The men, accused of rape and other offences, deny the charges.
Opening the case, Michelle Colborne QC, prosecuting, told the jury how the girl and her family withdrew the allegations due to threats.
The family ended up moving to Spain to get away from the men exploiting her, the prosecutor said.
She said the girl’s clothes were lost by police and were not subjected to scientific analysis.
Police ‘failed to protect’ girl, 13, over rape claims
Police ‘failed to protect’ girl, 13, over rape claims
September 14 2016, 12:01am, The Times
A 13-year-old girl told police of being repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by Asian men in Rotherham but no action was taken against her abusers, a court was told yesterday.
The teenager gave two interviews in which she told officers from South Yorkshire police about multiple attacks in a park, an alleyway and in cars. Thirteen years later, eight men are on trial accused of offences against her.
Sheffield crown court was told that in 2003 the girl changed within a few months “from being a normal, happy child from a stable, supportive family” to one who was secretive and distant. This happened because she was one of several local children “lured by the excitement and friendship of older Asian youths”.
Sageer Hussain, 30, is said to have played a key role in “befriending young girls who were flattered that he and his friends wanted to spend time with them”. The girl he targeted in 2003 was used for his own gratification before he “passed her to his friends, elder brothers and associates”.
Unable to protect their daughter, her parents sought help from social services and the police. They even pleaded for assistance from David Blunkett, then the home secretary and their local MP. To “extricate her” from the abuse, they finally sold their business and moved to Spain.
Michelle Colborne, QC, for the prosecution, said the case centred on “allegations of child sexual exploitation committed 13 years ago in the Rotherham area”, where children were sexualised and “in some instances subjected to acts of a degrading and violent nature”.
When the girl and her friends met Mr Hussain, they were impressed because he and his friends were better dressed and seemed more approachable than boys of their own age. The Asian boys quickly “became her life”.
“Even when it turned nasty, she needed them.” Older men were introduced to the group and a “subtle grooming” began. The girls were given cigarettes, alcohol and cannabis.
The girl lost her virginity when Mr Hussain allegedly attacked her in an alleyway, watched by his friends. Her hands were held down. Instructed not to tell the police, she caught a bus home and told no one.
“Degraded and beaten, she thought that this was how it was, discovering sex and friendships.” Further rapes followed, the court was told, in which Mr Hussain told her that she was a “white slag” and labelled her a “cry baby”.
Repeated threats were made against the girl and her family. Eventually, after she was threatened with a crowbar, she told her mother of the assaults.
Police were called. The 13-year-old girl was medically examined and interviewed, but a few days later said she wanted the case dropped. Her clothing, taken by the police, was lost before any scientific examination could take place.
Six months later, aged 14, she returned to a police station to describe a day on which she was taken to a house and put in a room where she was indecently assaulted by five men, one after the other. Arrests were made but no further action was taken.
The court was told that the woman, now aged 27, today works with child exploitation victims. When she heard in 2013 that police were investigating such crimes in Rotherham, “she decided to speak to the police herself”.
The eight defendants, who deny all charges, are accused of offences against her including multiple rapes, indecent assaults and false imprisonment. One, Ishtiaq Khaliq, 33, is also accused of offences against another two girls.
Mr Hussain is charged with four rapes and indecent assault. His brother, Basharat Hussain, 40, is accused of indecent assault. Also on trial are their cousins, Mohammed Whied, 32, charged with aiding and abetting rape, and Asif Ali, 30, accused of rape.
Other defendants are Waleed Ali, 34, Masoued Malik, 32, and Naeem Rafiq, 33.
The case continues.
Second Rotherham Trial at Sheffield Crown Court: