In Brief

Rotherham child sex abuse: ringleader jailed for 35 years

'The harm you have caused is of unimaginable proportions,' judge tells gang of six

The ringleader of a gang found guilty of the "systematic" sexual abuse of young girls in Rotherham has been jailed for 35 years.

Arshid Hussain, 40, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to rape, 11 indecent assaults and three rapes among other charges earlier this week.

His brothers Basharat 39, and Bannaras, 36, and their uncle, Qurban Ali, 53, have been sentenced to 25 years, 19 years and ten years respectively.

Accomplice Karen MacGregor, 58, was jailed for 13 years, while Shelley Davis, 40, was given an 18-month suspended sentence.

Passing down the sentences at Sheffield Crown Court today, Judge Sarah Wright told the gang: "The harm you have caused is of unimaginable proportions."

She paid tribute to the "immense courage" of the victims who had been "targeted, sexualised and in some cases subjected to acts of a degrading and violent nature".

The ruling comes 18 months after an independent report revealed 1,400 children had been sexually exploited between 1997 and 2013 by gangs of men in the South Yorkshire town.

Children as young as 11 suffered abuse including rape by multiple attackers, trafficking, abduction and beatings. The police and social services have been widely blamed for failing to protect the victims.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Tate described this week's verdicts as a "crucial milestone" for the victims, who had endured "years of violence and horrific sexual abuse at the hands of these vile individuals".

He added: "I can't begin to put into words the trauma that these women experienced at such a young age."

The end of the trial is expected to have far-reaching consequences, says The Guardian, with two follow-on police investigations and legal actions against Rotherham council currently underway.

Earlier this month, Barnardo's, the children's charity, reported a surge in the number of young victims coming forward in the wake of the Rotherham scandal. It is urgently appealing for extra funding to offer sexually exploited children expert advice and support.

Rotherham child sex ring: six guilty of sexually exploiting girls

25 February

Six people have been found guilty of the "systematic" sexual abuse of young girls in Rotherham and will be sentenced tomorrow.

Hussein brothers Arshid, Basharat and Bannaras and their uncle, Qurban Ali, conspired with Shelley Davies and Karen MacGregor to abuse children for over a decade.

The ruling comes 18 months after an independent report revealed 1,400 children had been sexually exploited between 1997 and 2013 by gangs of men in the South Yorkshire town.

Children as young as 11 suffered abuse including rape by multiple attackers, trafficking, abduction and beatings. The police and social services were widely blamed for failing to protect the victims.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Tate described yesterday's verdicts as a "crucial milestone" for the victims who had endured "years of violence and horrific sexual abuse at the hands of these vile individuals".

He added: "I can't begin to put into words the trauma that these women experienced at such a young age."

The end of the trial is expected to have far-reaching consequences, says The Guardian, with two follow-on police investigations and legal actions against Rotherham council currently underway.

Earlier this month, Barnardo's, the children's charity, reported a surge in the number of young victims coming forward in the wake of the Rotherham scandal. It is urgently appealing for extra funding to offer sexually exploited children expert advice and support.

Javed Khan, the chief executive of Barnardo's, told the Yorkshire Post that high-profile abuse cases across the UK have raised awareness and understanding about sexual exploitation.

"This has led to better identification of victims and those at risk, but everywhere we go we find more young people needing our services," said Khan.

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