24 Feb 2016

Rotherham sexual abuse: six found guilty

Six people, including three brothers and two women, are convicted of sexually abusing teenage girls in Rotherham.

It is the first successful prosecution of a grooming gang in the town since the child sexual exploitation scandal engulfed it 18 months ago.

Arshid and Basharat Hussain, 40 and 39 respectively; left and centre above, were found guilty of multiple rapes and indecent assaults following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

Their brother Bannaras, 36; right above, had admitted 10 charges, including rape, indecent assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, at the start of the trial.


They were members of a violent, gun-toting, drug-dealing family who appeared to operate with impunity in Rotherham, the court heard.

Their uncle, Qurban Ali, 53, was convicted of conspiracy to rape. Karen MacGregor, 58, and Shelley Davies, 40, were found guilty of conspiracy to procure prostitutes and false imprisonment.

Brothers Majid Bostan, 37, and Sajid Bostan, 38, were cleared of all charges.

The offences were carried out between 1987 and 2003.


Rotherham became a byword for the exploitation of teenage girls, and the failure of police and social workers to stop it happening, with the publication of the Jay report in 2014. This found that at least 1,400 girls had been groomed and raped in the South Yorkshire town over a 16-year period.

During the trial, women described how they were targeted in their young teens, raped, beaten, passed between abusers and used as prostitutes, with some trafficked, locked up, physically assaulted and threatened with death.

Some of the 15 women who were abused by the gang watched the verdicts from the public gallery overlooking the packed court, some holding hands with each other.

Lawyers for Arshid, who the court heard had children with seven women all over England, said he had been bed-ridden for the last two years following a shooting in 2005. One of his victims told the jury she was glad he got shot, calling it “karma”.

One girl said the Hussain brothers “owned” Rotherham, while another told the jury: “The police gave them a free card to do what they wanted.”

‘Mother figure’

MacGregor, described in court as a “mother figure”, took in girls from children’s homes, purporting to give them haven and support. But she allowed them to be abused and kept captive, telling them they needed to “earn their keep” by having sex with a succession of visiting men.

MacGregor even set up a support group, Kin Kids, for family members looking after children whose parents could no longer cope, the court heard. Kin Kids, which had the support of Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey, was due to be given charitable status when MacGregor was arrested.

The six convicted people will be sentenced on Friday.