'It was like a free-for-all among South Yorkshire men who sexually abused me,' alleged victim tells court

Arshid Hussain's alleged victim gave evidence at Sheffield Crown Court this morning
Arshid Hussain's alleged victim gave evidence at Sheffield Crown Court this morning

A young woman, who was allegedly sexually abused by a South Yorkshire man and his family when she was 13-years-old, says it was like a ‘free-for-all’ among the group of men after the first incident of rape.

Arshid Hussain, 42, is on trial at Sheffield Crown Court accused of one count of indecent assault, alleged to have taken place in Rotherham between January and April 2003, when he was aged 27.

He denies the offence.

The girl he allegedly abused, now aged 28, gave evidence at Sheffield Crown Court today.

She explained how after Arshid’s cousin, Sageer Hussain, began ‘raping’ and ‘exploiting’ her a couple of weeks after they met in January 2003, it opened the door for abuse to be carried out by other men he associated with.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “Once that initial rape started, it was like a bit of a free-for-all for them all.”

The court was previously told that among the men Sageer associated with, and passed the young girl onto to be abused, was Arshid, Arshid’s brother Basharat, and their cousin Asif Ali.

Opening the trial earlier this week, prosecutor, Peter Hampton, told the court Sageer, Basharat and Asif were convicted with five other men of the sexual exploitation of the girl, following a trial last year.

Arshid, who has not been present in court throughout the trial due to ‘health reasons,’ is alleged to have forced the girl to perform a sex act on him in a car near a loading bay close to an alleyway next to Boots in Rotherham town centre.

He is accused of forcing the girl to perform the act on him on one occasion. She told the court: “I can’t be 100 per cent sure when it took place but I think it wasn’t long before I disclosed.”

The court was told how the she initially went to the police on April 8, 2003 to report Sageer’s offending, but was ‘intimidated’ into not proceeding with the case.

She said she only reported Sageer at that time because she did not know who she could trust and was ‘testing’ police to see if they would protect her.

"I only disclosed so much to see if I could trust the police I wanted to see if they would keep me safe, and obviously that didn't happen so I didn't disclose the rest."

She went back to the police in 2013 when she realised the force were investigating historic child sexual exploitation in the Rotherham area.

She also reported Arshid’s alleged offending at this time.

Arshid's victim identified Arshid and Basharat, who she knew by their nicknames 'Ash' and 'Bash,' during identification parades in 2015, but confused their names.

She reported Arshid and others to the police in 2013.

The trial continues.