Rotherham trial: Woman came forward ‘after seeing Arshid Hussain on Panorama’

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

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

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An underage girl allegedly made pregnant by the central defendant in the Rotherham child abuse trial came forward after seeing him on Panorama.

Sheffield Crown Court was told the now-adult woman, who had an abortion when she was 15 after Arshid Hussain allegedly started abusing her when she was 14, had recognised him on a BBC documentary about child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

A statement from a social worker who the woman had spoken to was read to the jury in the trial of five men and two women accused of being part of a Rotherham child grooming ring.

It said: “She recognised one of the males on the programme as ‘Mad Ash’ - someone who had a sexual relationship with her as a teenager.

“She asked if the police would be able to do anything as such a lot of time had passed.”

The social worker said had spoken to police and was ‘worried she couldn’t remember the exact date’ that ‘Mad Ash’ had got her pregnant.

Evidence was also given to court by the alleged victim’s sister, who said she had seen Hussain kissing her when she was 14 and had been involved with her for around a year.

She said her sister was 14 or 15 when she became pregnant and ‘Ash’ was the father.

The woman said her sister had gone on to have an abortion after speaking to one of Hussain’s brothers.

She said Hussain’s contact with her sister came to an end when he started seeing another girl.

Tahir Khan QC, representing Arshid Hussain, asked if the woman was giving evidence to support her sister’s account.

The woman said this was not the case.

She said: “There is a few people I know that have been affected by all the brothers.

“I’m just doing my part.”

A statement was also read from the alleged victim’s mother.

She said her daughter had been a ‘happy go-lucky child’ before she met Hussain but became out of control and missed school so regularly her parents were threatened with court action.

“Her schoolwork suffered, her attitude was appalling. Sometimes, it was as though she was living two lives.”

She said she had later found her daughter had an abortion when she was 15.

The mother said her daughter has told her as an adult she ‘genuinely believed’ at the time that Hussain was her boyfriend.

The trial continues.