Rotherham abuse trial: Central defendant has never been interviewed over multiple allegations

Arshid Hussain arrives at Sheffield Crown Court

Arshid Hussain arrives at Sheffield Crown Court

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The central defendant in the Rotherham child grooming trial has never been interviewed about the dozens of charges he faces, a court heard.

Police interviews from most of the seven defendants in the trial were read to a jury at Sheffield Crown Court.

But the court was told Arshid Hussain, who faces 29 charges in relation to nine of the 12 alleged victims of a child grooming ring, has never been questioned.

Peter Hampton, prosecuting, said ‘there have been no interviews during this investigation’ in relation to Arshid Hussain, who denies all the allegations.

Stephen Uttley, representing Hussain, said the jury will be given a statement agreed by the prosecution and the defence on the reasons why the interviews never happened.

Hussain has not been present in court throughout the trial which started in December, instead appearing via video link from his home in Goole.

The court has previously been told Hussain is too unwell to attend the trial in person after being paralysed in 2005 as a result of being shot and developing deep bed sores in recent years.

Interviews with five of the other six defendants were read out on Friday, with all denying allegations of involvement in child sexual exploitation.

Basharat Hussain, who denies charges involving four complainants, denied having any sexual contact with one of his alleged victims.

He said he knew the woman ‘vaguely’ through a girlfriend he refused to name. Hussain also denied having any involvement in drugs and said he made money through his work at his family’s window-glazing business.

In a second interview, he gave ‘no comment’ answers in relation to another complainant.

Sajid Bostan, who denies seven charges involving one woman, said he did have a consensual relationship with the complainant when she was around 19 and he was married. He said the woman ‘hated me’ when he ended the relationship.

Bostan also said he ‘didn’t see eye to eye’ with Arshid Hussain, who he is alleged to have been involved in offending with.

His brother Majid Bostan, who is accused of indecent assault on the same person, said he did not know the complainant but thought she sounded like a ‘scorned woman’. Karen MacGregor and Shelley Davies also separately denied any involvement in alleged offending.