A child sexual exploitation trial has heard that police passed information to abusers in South Yorkshire.
The seven defendants—five men and two women—deny over 60 charges between them. The offences are alleged to have taken place between the late 1980s and 2003.
Girl D, a complainant, gave evidence to the court in Sheffield this week.
The court heard that she was abused by Arshid and Basharat Hussain from 1997 when she was 14 years old living in Rotherham. Girl D said they forced her to handle guns and drugs, and drove her and her sister to Sheffield to be prostituted.
She said she hadn’t been confident to report the abuse. She said, “How could I go to a police officer when they are just more involved with it, with them? The police basically gave them a free card to do what they wanted.
“How could us women go to police officers and tell them these things when they are going straight back to tell them? You couldn’t.”
Girl D told the court she had denied knowing Arshid and Basharat Hussain when police first approached her in 2014 because she was “scared”. Cross examined by Tahir Khan QC representing Arshid Hussain she was asked why she had refused to speak.
“I have been threatened to do my kneecaps in,” she said. “My life was in jeopardy. My life wouldn’t have been worth living. They were threatening me, my mum, my family.”
The court also heard that Girl D was threatened with a gun in 2014 and told not to talk to police.
A police interview with her in March last year was shown to the court. In it the woman said she was approached by a man in a car in Masbrough. She said, “He pulled me into a car, put a gun in my mouth and said, ‘police have contacted you haven’t they about Ash, Bash and Bono?
“Open your mouth and this is what you get.”
Khan asked why she hadn’t mentioned being prostituted in Sheffield until her second police interview. She said, “I really didn’t want to remember all the bad things. They were awful memories. I wasn’t a person – I was a piece of meat and I didn’t want to remember that.”
The mother of alleged victim Girl B gave evidence on Monday of this week. Girl B has told the jury that she was abused for about a decade from the age of 11 when she was living in Rotherham.
The mother said she found an exercise book in her daughter’s bedroom detailing the abuse. “It was very explicit,” she told the court. “I just couldn’t believe it.
“I took it to the police and I told them to look at it, but they just gave it me back.”
The mother said she tried to get help when her daughter went missing. “I phoned the police, but to tell you the truth they were not interested,” she said. “I never got any help whatsoever.”
The witness said that her daughter felt she had no choice but to go out when an older girl called Shelley came to collect her. The witness told the court, “She used to say, ‘I have got to go Mam, you don’t know what will happen if I don’t go.’”
Her mother told the court Girl B said their house would be burned down if she refused to go out with the alleged abusers.
The trial continues