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Rotherham verdicts 'a crucial milestone for victims'

Senior investigating officer Martin Tate speaks outside court.

The Rotherham child sex exploitation verdicts are a "crucial milestone" for the victims of abuse, police have said.

Senior investigating officer Martin Tate said he was pleased those responsible had been held to account for the "systematic and organised sexual abuse of young girls".

Speaking outside Sheffield Crown Court, he said: "The verdict today marks a crucial milestone for those victims and survivors who endured years of violence and horrific sexual abuse at the hands of these vile individuals.

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

Brothers guilty of rape and indecent assault of teenagers

Arshid and Basharat Hussain Credit: ITV News

Brothers Arshid and Basharat Hussain were found guilty of multiple rapes and indecent assaults of teenage girls as part of a child sex grooming gang in Rotherham following a trial.

A third brother, Bannaras Hussain, 36, admitted 10 charges including rape, indecent assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm at the beginning of the trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

Their uncle Qurban Ali, 53, was cleared of all the charges he faced except one of conspiracy to rape.

Two women - Karen MacGregor, 58, and Shelley Davies, 40 - were found guilty of conspiracy to procure prostitutes and false imprisonment following the trial.

Meanwhile brothers Majid Bostan, 37 and Sajid Bostan, 38, were cleared of all charges following the trial.



Police identify 300 possible Rotherham abuse suspects

At least 1,400 were abused in Rotherham over two decades. Credit: PA

A new investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham has identified around 300 possible suspects.

Those suspected of being part of a network who abused at least 1,400 children over a 16-year period is said to include two former or serving councillors.

The National Crime Agency said its inquiry into allegations of child sexual exploitation in the town has the potential to identify "thousands of offences".

The investigation, called Operation Stovewood, was set up last year following Professor Alexis Jay's damning report into abuse by largely Asian men in the South Yorkshire town.

Child grooming ignored as it was 'seen as prostitution'

Nothing was done to help girls involved in the child sexual exploitation (CSE) in South Yorkshire because they were seen as prostitutes, a police commissioner has said.

Alan Billings, South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner, said "it all went wrong" because police did not understand what grooming was or that it was child abuse.

Child grooming ignored as it was 'seen as prostitution' Credit: Mind/ Time To Change

Dr Billings was speaking after reports published for the first time revealed that police were warned around 10 years ago about the extent of the CSE problem in the county but did nothing about it.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

I don't think any of us at that time understood what grooming was and that this was grooming.

I think we saw these girls not as victims but as troublesome young people out of control and willing participants.

We saw it as child prostitution rather than child abuse, and I think that was broadly accepted and that's why it all went wrong.

A report by Professor Alexis Jay provoked nationwide shock last August when it revealed that at least 1,400 children were raped, trafficked and groomed in Rotherham.

A further review by Louise Casey, published earlier this year, led to the mass resignation of the ruling Labour cabinet and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles ordered Government-appointed commissioners to take over the running of the council.

Rotherham boss ready to don sombrero at Leeds

Rotherham are staying in the Championship. Credit: PA

It is usually players who are accused of being on the beach at this time of the season, but Rotherham manager Steve Evans has said he will turn up to his side's final game at Leeds dressed in shorts, T-shirt and a sombrero if the fans want him to.

The Millers defied a three-point deduction by the Football League to book their Sky Bet Championship survival by beating Reading 2-1 at New York Stadium on Tuesday night.

The result relegates Wigan and Millwall and means Evans can take his side to Elland Road for a Yorkshire derby with no pressure on.

The Scot, who goaded Millwall striker Lee Gregory if the aftermath of Tuesday's victory by telling him to "enjoy League One", joked before the game that if his side had achieved safety by the time they travelled to West Yorkshire he would wear his beach attire.

And speaking on Sky Sports News, Evans said he would go through with the promise if the viewers wanted it to happen.

"If you get enough tweets to the studio demanding to see me in shorts, T-shirt, sombrero and flip-flops, I'll be there in them on Saturday," Evans said. "But it has to be a response to leave me no option.

"I have got a nice pair of sunglasses I can wear.

"I'll happily have my shorts on and I'll see if I can buy a sombrero somewhere, it won't look so good!"

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