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Timeline: Tackling child exploitation in Rotherham

The publication of the Jay Report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham provoked a wave of outrage, resignations and new initiatives.

Here are the key events of the past year since the report was published:

:: 2014

August 26: Professor Alexis Jay publishes her devastating report on child sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. The leader of Rotherham Council, Roger Stone, resigns within minutes of the publication.

August 27: Shaun Wright, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner who was the councillor in charge of children's services in Rotherham between 2005 and 2010, refuses to resign despite Home Secretary Theresa May calling for him to step down.

August 28: Education secretary Nicky Morgan said she is "appalled" by the exploitation exposed by the report and announces an early inspection of child protection in Rotherham by Ofsted.

September 2: The Labour Party suspends four of its members in Rotherham, including Mr Stone and ex-deputy council leader Jahangir Akhtar.

September 8: Chief executive of Rotherham Council Martin Kimber, who joined the authority in 2009, announces he is to step down at the end of December.

September 9 : Mr Wright is grilled by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee. Chairman Keith Vaz calls for him to resign and said he would be asking the Home Secretary to bring in emergency legislation to enable PCCs to be sacked.

September 10: Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles announces that Rotherham Council will face an independent inspection led by Louise Casey, the head of the Government's Troubled Families programme.

September 12 : Mr Wright attends an angry meeting of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel where he answers questions and is screamed at from the public gallery before the panel passes a no confidence vote.<

September 16 : Mr Wright resigns.

September 19 : Rotherham's director of children's services, Joyce Thacker, resigns.

October 13: The National Crime Agency (NCA) announces it will lead an investigation into outstanding allegations of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, following a request from South Yorkshire Police.

October 31: Dr Alan Billings is elected as the new PCC for South Yorkshire, pledging to make tackling child sexual exploitation a priority.

November 18: The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) says it will investigate 10 South Yorkshire Police staff over the handling of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

November 19: Ofsted declares children's services in Rotherham are "inadequate".

:: 2015

January 29: Rotherham's Labour MP Sarah Champion tells Sky News that the figure of 1,400 victims in the Jay Report may be an underestimate.

February 4: Louise Casey publishes a highly critical report on Rotherham Council, saying it is "not fit for purpose". The entire political leadership of the council announces it will resign and Mr Pickles says he will send in government commissioners.

February 23: Ms Casey tells MPs the police should be subjected to the the same analysis that she had given the council.

March 11: Former council leader Roger Stone says the Casey Report felt "like a witch hunt" a day after he was grilled by MPs.

March 13: New PCC Alan Billings calls for a wide-ranging inspection of South Yorkshire Police after a BBC investigation alleged failings relating to the exploitation of children in Sheffield.

March 26: The IPCC announces it has expanded its investigation into how police handled child sexual exploitation in Rotherham after receiving complaints involving more than 100 allegations against 42 named officers.

June 6: Dr Billings announces that Professor John Drew has been appointed to review South Yorkshire Police.

June 24: The NCA announces it is looking at 300 potential suspects as it begins the investigation stage of its inquiry into historical child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

July 21: Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary says South Yorkshire Police still needs to make major improvements to its child protection procedures.

August 3: A £3 million package is announced to provide a Barnardo's team of specialist workers to work with children in South Yorkshire who are at risk of being sexually exploited.

"Small fraction" of Rotherham victims have come forward for help

Only a small fraction of more than 1,400 victims who were sexually exploited as children in Rotherham over a 16-year period have come forward for help, according to a lawyer representing survivors.

A year after the publication of the Jay Report, which produced the shocking estimate that more than 1,400 children had been raped, trafficked, groomed and violently attacked in the South Yorkshire town, David Greenwood said he believes fewer than 100 of the girls involved have engaged with the raft of new inquiries.

Mr Greenwood, who represents 58 girls who were subjected to sexual abuse by gangs of men in Rotherham between 1996 and 2012, says the much-criticised police and council have made progress in the town in the last 12 months.

But he believes many survivors will only trust the system again once a truly independent agency is brought in.

"Both agencies have improved in Rotherham in the last 12 months but survivors of exploitation will be unwilling to come forward to them unless radical changes are made.

"An agency independent from South Yorkshire Police and RMBC (the council) is essential for the 1,400 young women who need help.

"I am aware of only around 50 to 60 girls having come forward. This means there are around 1,350 whose lives could be improved with specialist help."

– David Greenwood, lawyer representing Rotherham child sexual exploitation survivors

Professor Alexis Jay shocked the UK with her report, which was published on August 26 last year.

It was already well-known that girls in Rotherham had been subjected to sexual exploitation by gangs of largely Asian men but the outrage provoked by the Jay Report stemmed from the sheer scale of offending and it outlined the horrific details included of what had beengoing on in the town between 1996 and 2013.

Professor Jay said at the time she had found "utterly appalling" examples of "children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally-violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone".

She said: "They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated."

She said she found that girls as young as 11 had been raped by large numbers of men.

Waves of criticism followed, aimed mainly at Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police.

Resignations included the leader and chief executive of the council as well as its director of children's services.

The most high profile casualty was South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright, who was the councillor in charge of Rotherham's children's services between 2005 and 2010.

A further review of Rotherham Council by the Government's Troubled Families chief, Louise Casey, heaped more criticism on an authority she labelled as "not fit for purpose" and "in denial".

That lead to the then communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles handing over its powers to a panel of appointed commissioners.

Both the council and the police say their focus over the last 12 months has been on building trust among survivors.<

South Yorkshire Police says it now has a team of more than 60 officers working on child sexual exploitation (CSE) and its joint operation with the council and Crown Prosecution Service - Operation Clover - is beginning to see suspected abusers brought before the courts in numbers.

The National Crime Agency has been brought in to investigate historical crimes and recently announced it was looking at 300 potential suspects.

The new Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Billings, has set up a panel of survivors of CSE which he says is informing decision making and police training.

And a £3 million initiative was announced earlier this month which will see a Barnardo's team of specialist workers work with children in South Yorkshire who are at risk of being sexually exploited.

"Only when large numbers of girls affected feel able to speak to the police and with confidence that they will be believed, protected and supported will we know more.

"I have spoken with many girls who simply want nothing to do with the police at present and until the police put in place really good tailor-made support from specialist and dedicated officers they will not engage." "I would like to see a truly independent agency offering survivors good quality support, protection, talking therapies, help with housing, childcare and education. We still have a long way to go."

– David Greenwood, lawyer representing Rotherham child sexual exploitation survivors


Elderly man attacked in Rotherham dies in hospital

Credit: South Yorkshire Police

An 81-year-old man who was injured following an attack in Rotherham has died in hospital overnight.

Mushin Ahmed was assaulted in an area just off Fitzwilliam Road in the early hours of Monday 10 August.

He was understood to be on his way to a mosque for morning prayers.

It is with great sadness that we confirm to the public this morning the death of Mr Ahmed and our sincerest condolences go to his family and friends.

He was a much loved and respected member of his community and his relatives are receiving specialist support from officers.

– Detective Chief Inspector Chris Singleton, South Yorkshire Police
Mushin Ahmed was found with serious head injuries. Credit: ITV News

Two men have been charged in connection with the assault. Damien Hunt, 29, of Doncaster Road, Rotherham, and Kieran John Rice, 21, of Oakes Meadow, Rotherham, appeared at Rotherham Magistrates’ Court on Friday 14 August charged with section 18 assault with intent.

Both men were remanded in custody to appear before Sheffield Crown Court on Friday 28 August.

A further two men were arrested earlier this week – a 29-year-old man from Dalton and a 24-year-old man from Thrybergh. They have been bailed while detectives continue their enquiries.

Man arrested for Rotherham sexual exploitation offences

A 38-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a string of non-recent sexual exploitation offences in Rotherham.

Basharat Hussain was arrested by South Yorkshire Police officers at Manchester airport today on suspicion of 15 charges, which are alleged to have occurred between 1996 and 2001.

Hussain, of no fixed address, was apprehended after a warrant for his arrest was granted by Sheffield Magistrates' Court.

He is in police custody and will appear at the next available opportunity at Rotherham Magistrates' Court, which is likely to be tomorrow.

He is charged with: gross indecency towards a child, inciting a child to commit gross indecency, procuring a female to have sex with a man, indecent assault, rape, false imprisonment and procuring a female to become a prostitute.

Two further arrests following assault on elderly man in Rotherham

Two more men have been arrested in connection with a serious assault on an 81-year-old man in Rotherham.

Mushin Ahmed Credit: South Yorkshire Police

Mushin Ahmed was found with serious head injuries nine days ago in the Fitzwilliam Road area. He remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital. A 29-year-old man was arrested in the Dalton area of Rotherham yesterday and a 24-year-old man in Thrybergh early today. Two men have already appeared in court in connection with the assault.


Rotherham man jailed for historic sexual abuse of girls

A man from Rotherham has been jailed for almost three years for sexually abusing two girls in Doncaster over 20 years ago.

Jason Lee Garside has been jailed for almost three years Credit: South Yorkshire Police

43-year-old Jason Lee Garside, of Thicket Drive, Maltby, appeared before Sheffield Crown Court today to be sentenced to two years and ten months behind bars for his crimes.

At a trial last month, a jury found Garside guilty of two counts of indecent assault.

He had entered guilty pleas to a further two counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency at the beginning of the trial.

The offences against two girls under ten-years-old took place in Doncaster between 1989 and 1994.

Garside was also given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Two arrested over attack on Rotherham pensioner

Two men in Rotherham have been arrested over an attack that left a pensioner in a critical condition.

Two men have been arrested over an attack on the 81-year-old Credit: ITV News

The 81-year-old was found with serious head injuries early on Monday morning. Officers arrested two men, aged 21 and 29 on Wednesday evening.

The man is still in hospital in a critical, but stable, condition.

70 baby turkeys die in Rotherham barn fire

70 baby turkeys have died in a barn fire caused by an electrical fault.

Editorial Image Credit: South Yorkshire Fire

Three fire engines were called out to a barn fire at 2:50am on Thursday morning at a farm on Hardwick Lane in Aston, Rotherham.

The baby turkeys, who were only one day old, died in the fire which is thought to have started due to an electrical fault on a heat lamp.

Paedophile brothers jailed

A man has been jailed for life and his brother for 12 years, after pleading guilty to sexual offences against three children.

Eduard Peticky, 48, from Rotherham and Ludovit Peticky, 45, of Bradford, were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court today (Tuesday 11 August).

Eduard Peticky was jailed for life after previously admitting sexual touching of a child under 13, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual activity in the presence of a child under 13 and trafficking in the UK for sexual exploitation.

Ludovit Peticky was sentenced to 12 years behind bars after admitting five counts of sexual touching of a child under 13 and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity at an earlier hearing.

Speaking of Eduard’s offending, the sentencing judge said: “This is a hugely horrifying incident and as depraved as could possibly be. It is horrific. He poses a substantial risk to society.”

The offences took place between 2010 and 2012 in the Eastwood area of Rotherham and were committed against two boys and a girl aged between three and 11-years-old.

In September 2013, the victims disclosed what had happened to them to a trusted adult and an investigation began.

“These young children suffered horrific abuse at the hands of these brothers over a prolonged period of time.

The harm that they caused will stay with them forever.

I am pleased the young victims found the courage to tell someone what had happened to them so that we could take swift action against the men and bring them to justice.

I hope the young victims can now try to move on with their lives and put this dreadful ordeal behind them.

I hope this will encourage other victims of abuse to come forward if they feel able to and report what has happened to them in the knowledge they will be listened to and we will investigate thoroughly.

– Investigating Officer Detective Constable Ian Hampshire
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