A man accused of sexually abusing teenage girls in Rotherham has said he was ‘in love’ with one of his alleged victims and tried to get her to move to Pakistan with him.
Basharat Hussain told a jury at Sheffield Crown Court said they had met when she was 15 and he was around 24 but said a sexual relationship had not started until she was 16 and the pair had stayed in contact until last year.
He denies one count of indecent assault and two charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to the now 30-year-old woman, who is known as Girl L. Hussain also denies threatening to kill her brother, along with alleged sexual exploitation offences involving a further three female complainants.
Hussain admitted he had sent ‘nasty texts’ to her when they had argued, but said he had never been violent towards her or made threats to kill her brother.
The court has previously been told the now-adult woman alleges Hussain was habitually violent towards her and on one occasion ordered her to ‘dig her own grave’.
Hussain said the allegations the woman had made against him were ‘really hurtful’.
“I loved her. The plan was to settle down, as in get married,” he said.
Hussain said that after he got into a fight at a nightclub in 2006, he went to Pakistan and she was due to fly out to be with him - getting as far as Manchester Airport and only being stopped for travelling because she couldn’t get a visa.
Hussain also accepted having a sexual relationship with another alleged victim, Girl E, who he said he first had sex with on her 16th birthday after meeting her when she was 15 and he was in his early 20s.
He denies one count of rape, three charges of indecent assault and one of false imprisonment in relation to the now 33-year-old complainant.
Hussain said allegations that he forced her to perform sex acts on other men, tied her up and made her listen to people having sex, poured petrol over her and made her hide drugs, money and guns in her bedroom for him were ‘just lies’.
He said he was ‘heartbroke’ when that girl had an abortion after he made her pregnant.
“I wanted a baby,” he said.
Hussain also accepted having a sexual relationship with another complainant in the trial, Girl I, when she was 17.
He faces no charges in relation to this woman, whose case is related to his brother and fellow defendant Arshid Hussain.
When asked by his barrister Gillian Batts why he was having relationships with three teenage girls around the same time.
He said: “I was only in my early 20s and I kind of liked the attention.
“I used to drive nice cars and have some money. Looking back, I was stupid but I think at the time I liked it.”
Hussain said after seeing a Panorama documentary about child sexual exploitation in Rotherham that named his brother in September 2014 he discussed leaving the UK with Girl L.
He said that after hearing Girl E had made an allegation against him in relation to the investigation, he ‘panicked’ and went to Pakistan. He said he came back to the UK after police visited his parents’ home and articles appeared in the media suggesting he ‘wasn’t coming back’.
Hussain said he made contact with the police about his return and they arrested him at Manchester Airport in August 2015.
Hussain is one of five men and two women who deny playing roles in a Rotherham child grooming ring.
The trial continues.