Rotherham trial: ‘I knew what they were capable of, people bowed down to them’ - court

Arshid Hussain, 40, of High Street, East Cowick, Goole, (seated in wheelchair) outside Sheffield Crown Court. PA
Arshid Hussain, 40, of High Street, East Cowick, Goole, (seated in wheelchair) outside Sheffield Crown Court. PA

An alleged victim of an Asian child grooming ring operating in Rotherham said people ‘bowed down’ to the gang’s members

A trial at Sheffield Crown Court saw a video of a police interview with Girl E, who is now a 33-year-old woman.

She said she was forced to store guns and drugs in her bedroom for Basharat Hussain, who is one of seven defendants who deny a string of charges.

On one occasion, Girl E said Basharat held a gun to her head when she refused to obey his orders.

Speaking about Basharat and his brother Arshid, who is also on trial, she said: “I knew what they were capable of and what they might do if I didn’t do what they said. I knew what would happen. I knew if they wanted something they could get it. People bowed down to them.”

The woman said on one occasion, Basharat handed her a gun and told her to ‘keep it safe.’

She said: “He handed me this gun from the glove box and said ‘keep this safe.’

“I knew it wasn’t a question. I said I didn’t want to but he got aggressive and said, ‘What have I told you about saying no to me?’”

The court heard how the next day, Basharat alledegly arranged for a derelict house to be burnt down across the road from her parents’ house. The woman said it was to show her ‘she couldn’t say no to him.’

The also woman told police that when she was ‘about 18,’ Basharat had killed two of her cats.

She said: “I found the cats curled up dead in the garden. He told me that he had poisoned them.”

In addition, the woman told police about an unexpected holiday with Basharat to Greece.

“The last thing I wanted to do was to go away with him, but they were his orders and that’s what you did,” she said.

Upon their return to the UK, Hussain was later arrested and jailed for drug offences.

A crucial witness in the Rotherham child sexual exploitation trial said she recognised two of her alleged abusers from local newspaper and TV reports.

Girl E, now a 33-year-old woman, previously told the court she was subjected to a series of incidents involving brothers Basharat and Arshid Hussain.

She said she suffered physical and sexual assaults including rape in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

But Gillian Batts, representing Basharat, said during cross-examination that Girl E, who cannot be named, was lying.

The woman denied that was the case. Ms Batts also asked the complainant why she told police she wasn’t a victim of abuse during an interview in October 2014.

She said: “I did not want anything to with it at first. I said I didn’t want to make a complaint. It was for them to go away, I wanted nothing to do with it. I lied to the police at the time but what the accused did I’m not lying about now.”

Karen MacGregor, 58, Arshid Hussain, 40, Qurban Ali, 53, Majid Bostan, 37, sajid Bostan, 38, Basharat Hussain, 39, and Shelley Davies, 40, all deny a range of charges.

The trial continues.