The jury hearing the Rotherham abuse trial has heard that a diary detailing the crimes, which was given to South Yorkshire Police by one of the complainants, was reportedly lost.
The sister of an alleged victim, known in court as Girl J, told Sheffield Crown Court that police investigating events in Rotherham had been given a diary containing “everything that happened to her”, reports the Sheffield Star. The family was later told the diary, as well as an 11-page statement made by Girl J’s father, was subsequently lost.
Girl J, now aged 30, is one of 12 alleged victims in the case. She claims that one of the seven defendants, Arshid ‘Ash’ Hussain, entered into a sexual relationship with her when she was just 14 years old. Mr. Hussain, now aged 40, has admitted fathering a child with her when she was 15, but says he thought she was older when they first met.
The jury heard how the family met with police to discuss the situation. Girl J’s sister explained:
“We had asked what happened to her diary, it was filled with dates, times, everything that happened. My dad did an 11-page statement. It had all disappeared.”
As a result, when the family met with two police officers in March 2013 to discuss a possible prosecution of Mr. Hussain, the alleged victim’s sister said they decided to record the conversation secretly because they had “no faith in them”. Having been asked by Mr. Hussain’s defence barrister whether they had been attempting to “set up” the police, Girl J’s sister said:
“We didn’t trust them. They had let us down 15, 16, 17 years previously. It was the same officers – they weren’t interested, they didn’t care.
“It was about time the truth came out about the officers and the people involved. If I wouldn’t have recorded them, we wouldn’t be sat here now.”
The recording was subsequently given to Andrew Norfolk, the Chief Investigative Reporter at The Times. In August 2013 that newspaper published a front page exclusive headlined ‘Grooming scandal of child sex town’. Girl J’s sister says that story, despite her alleging it led to pressure from police to stop the article, was the only reason a proper investigation into the events in Rotherham ever took place, saying:
“As soon as The Times contacted the police, the officers were out that day saying, ‘We need to speak to you’, basically trying blackmailing, telling her if she goes ahead with the press she will not be able to make a case.”
Arshid Hussain and his fellow defendants Basharat Hussain, Karen MacGregor, Qurban Ali, Majid Bostan, Sajid Bostan and Shelley Davies all deny their part in historic child sexual exploitation crimes relating to a Rotherham grooming gang.
The trial continues.