Further allegations as to what happened to teenage girls at the hands of grooming gangs have come to light in the Rotherham abuse trial currently being heard at Sheffield Crown Court, including accusations of torture.
Giving video evidence to the Rotherham abuse trial of five men and two women, a 33-year-old woman known to the court as Girl E recounted a series of alleged incidents perpetrated by brothers and co-defendants Basharat and Arshid Hussain. She explained that for a period of time in the late 1990s/early 2000s she was subjected to extreme acts of physical violence and sexual assaults.
Girl E claims that on one such occasion Basharat Hussain, now 39, took her to a flat in Sheffield where several Asian men, including his brother Arshid, 40, were present. The Sheffield Star reports she told the court:
“Bash and another man grabbed hold of me, ripped up a sheet and put it round my face so I couldn’t see and tied my hands and feet together.
“They shoved me down in the corner so I couldn’t see.
“They poured petrol on my feet and then I heard other people having sex. I was petrified, it was horrible…
“I thought I was going to die. I thought they were going to burn me. I was feeling like dead and numb.”
Girl E said that most times she was taken to the Sheffield property “it was full of people” and that “they used to tie me up quite a lot.” On one occasion her shoes were even set on fire while on her feet, on another she was forced to perform sex acts on on a line men, one after another.
Girl E said she had been a 14-year-old from a “happy home” with “no problems” when she first met Basharat Hussain, then in his 20s, via a friend’s boyfriend. At first he came across as “lovely, kind and genuine” but pressured her into sex with him on her 16th birthday at a “disgusting” property she believed belonged to his father.
She explained how Basharat Hussain’s violent temper then came to the fore. On one occasion she said he had an “angry” telephone call in another language. She asked how he was at which point, she told the court: “he grabbed me by the throat and he said ‘It’s nothing to do with you, you are nothing but a slag’.”
Girl E says he then bound her hands, but after he got out of the car for another call she escaped and hid, “petrified” in some bushes.
As his hold over her strengthened he was able to force her into hiding guns and drugs for him in her own bedroom after he allegedly arranged for a derelict house near her parents’ property to be burned down. She told the court:
“He said ‘I have burnt this house down, I can easily burn yours down with your family in it’.”
Describing the fear she felt, she continued:
“He said he would kill me and make sure he would get rid of my body, it sounded like he really meant them at the time. I believed he would.”
The woman also told police that when she was “about 18” Basharat killed two of her cats. She found them “curled up dead in the garden” and said he told her “that he had poisoned them.”
Girl E said she knew that resisting the brothers was futile, admitting: “I knew if they wanted something they could get it. People bowed down to them.”
Summing up her treatment she said: “It all happened really quick. From being a young girl that knocked about with my friends to I’m sat here with drugs in my house.”
Girl E said she recognised two of her alleged abusers from local news reports, but Gillian Batts, who represents Basharat Hussain, put it to her that she was lying and asked why the complainant told police she was not a victim of abuse during an interview in October 2014.
Denying that she was a liar, the witness replied:
“I did not want anything to do 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.”
Arshid and Basharat Hussain, Karen MacGregor, 58, Qurban Ali, 53, Majid Bostan, 37, Sajid Bostan, 38, and Shelley Davies, 40, all deny being part of a Rotherham child grooming gang.
The trial continues.