Rotherham abuse suspect reported to have fled to Pakistan arrested at Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport
Manchester Airport

A Rotherham child grooming suspect who had reportedly fled to Pakistan has been arrested at Manchester Airport.

Basharat Hussain, 38, was arrested by South Yorkshire Police officers at the airport today as part of Operation Clover, an investigation into allegations of historic child sexual exploitation offences in Rotherham.

He was apprehended after a warrant for his arrest was granted by Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.

Police would not confirm today whether Hussain had returned from Pakistan, or whether he had agreed to meet officers to be arrested.

Three of his brothers have already been charged as part of the same investigation ahead of a trial scheduled to start in December at Sheffield Crown Court.

Hussain, of no fixed address, will be charged with 15 offences when he appears at Rotherham Magistrates Court tomorrow.

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Police said: “The suspect is charged with gross indecency towards a child, inciting a child to commit gross indecency, procuring a female to have sex with a man, indecent assault, rape, false imprisonment and procuring a female to become a prostitute.”

The alleged offences are said to have occurred between 1996 and 2001.

Police said last month that they were ‘pursuing’ the return of Hussain, who was released on bail in March.

In July, South Yorkshire Police did not name Hussain but said they were ‘in contact’ with a 38-year-old man’s legal representatives about him returning to Britain.

A spokeswoman said that as he had not been charged and the police had ‘no reason at that time to believe he was a flight risk’, they had limited powers to take his passport away prior to him leaving the country.

The issue of Hussain’s departure from the country was raised at a meeting of Rotherham Council, with leader Chris Read saying he had raised the matter with police.

Hussain is now due to become the ninth defendant charged as part of Operation Clover, which is a South Yorkshire Police investigation in partnership with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The defendants, which include two women, have been charged with offences dating back to 1987. Operation Clover is one of a number of investigations into historic child abuse offences currently taking place in the wake of the town’s grooming scandal.