Two Rotherham brothers jailed for raping, abusing and prostituting young girls have had their request for appeals rejected by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and two High Court judges.
Arshid Hussain and Basharat Hussain, who were jailed in February last year for sexually exploiting girls in Rotherham, appeared before the Court of Appeal in Leeds yesterday.
The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Lord Thomas ruled that all appeals be dismissed.
He also ruled that the sentences handed down to Arshid, 40, of High Street, East Cowick, Goole and Basharat, 39, of no fixed abode, 35-years in prison and 25-years in prison respectively, would stand.
Their uncle Qurban Ali was found guilty of conspiracy to rape and jailed for 10 years. A decision on his appeal against conviction has been adjourned.
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Tate was the Senior Investigating Officer for Operation Clover, the multi-agency investigation into the Hussain brothers and their criminal network who groomed and exploited young girls in Rotherham between 1987 and 2003.
Speaking after the appeal hearing, he said: “I am really pleased with the rulings passed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas.
“The sentences given to Arshid and Basharat last year are some of the largest ever imposed for sexual offending in the UK, but Lord Thomas ruled that this was entirely proportionate. The Lord Chief Justice was clear that this was some of the worst sexual offending he had ever presided over, and that these sentences must act as a deterrent nationally. He also stated that no civilised society can tolerate such offending and the courts must protect the public.
“While the appeals process is not normally one that police comment on, I feel it only right that we continue to recognise the bravery of the young women who have had to face yet another challenge in their battle for justice. No sentence will ever recover the years of abuse, and in many people’s eyes, no sentence is ever long enough. In my view however 35 years in prison is a significant message from the courts that any offending of this type will dealt with in the most robust way possible.
“Any appeal hearing can be difficult for victims of crime, but particularly so for victims of child sexual exploitation and especially the young women we have supported throughout Operation Clover.
“This latest hearing understandably caused some concern and anxiety, but they are relieved with the outcome from court. It is entirely understandable that victims and the wider public want justice from these investigations as soon as possible. It is critical however that the police and CPS get these very complex investigations right. They must be legally sound and stand up to intense scrutiny. We obviously have the support of our extremely professional and victim focused prosecution CPS lawyers and appointed barristers. They work tirelessly with us to convict offenders.
“The trial, presided over by HHJ Judge Wright in Sheffield, allowed the victims to tell their story in their own time and with the correct support under the legal provisions of what we call special measures. I hope that encourages other victims that if they come forward they will be heard and we will discuss all options around giving evidence.
“I hope this latest result demonstrates how committed the police and the criminal justice system are in our support for victims of sexual abuse and that once convicted, we continue to do all we can to ensure that dangerous predators remain behind bars.”
The gun-toting, drug-dealing brothers – known as Mad Ash and Bash – led a gang in the abuse, with children raped, beaten, passed between offenders and used as prostitutes.