In Brief

Rotherham sex abuse trial: girls 'groomed with sweets and pop'

Court hears details about the alleged abuse of 12 young girls by seven people, including two women

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Young girls from care homes in Rotherham were repeatedly raped, beaten, passed between abusers and used as prostitutes, a court has heard.

Five men and two women are standing trial in the South Yorkshire town, charged with child sexual exploitation. The alleged abuse spanned more than a decade, between 1990 and 2003.

Arshid Hussain, 40, and brother Basharat, 39, their uncle Qurban Ali, 53, Sajid Bostan, 38, and his brother Majid, 37, allegedly conspired with Karen MacGregor, 58, and Shelley Davies, 40.

The jury heard details about how the girls were allegedly targeted by the men, who are all of Asian descent.

The grooming of one alleged victim started with her being given "sweets and pop" and later progressed to more expensive gifts of perfume and a mobile phone, The Guardian reports.

The two women then "plied" the young girls with vodka and sold them to men, the court heard.

Prosecutor Michelle Colborne QC also detailed how one of the victims "was beaten, had a cigarette stubbed out on her chest, was tied up, raped from a very young age, often by numerous men".

The girls, some as young as 11 years old, were passed around to friends who abused them in flats, garages and houses in the Rotherham area and in London, said prosecutors.

When they returned to the children's home covered in blood "seemingly no one there was interested," it was alleged.

One victim said while she was in a house used as a brothel she saw "one man she recognised she thought was either an MP or councillor from Rotherham", the Daily Mirror reports.

Some of the girls ended up pregnant, while one victim was sent to prison after handling drugs and guns for the Hussain brothers, said Colborne.

The trial continues.

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