Socialist Worker

Rotherham defendant found not guilty of conspiracy to rape

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2488

Sheffield Crown Court, where the trial is taking place

Sheffield Crown Court where the trial is taking place (Pic: Socialist Worker)


A defendant on trial accused of historical child sexual abuse offences has been found not guilty of one offence.

Shelley Davies is one of two women and five men on trial at Sheffield Crown Court. She was charged with conspiracy to procure a woman to become a common prostitute, conspiracy to rape and false imprisonment in relation to complainant Girl B.

Judge Sarah Wright directed the jury to find Davies not guilty on the charge of conspiracy to rape. “I’m satisfied there is insufficient evidence on this particular count,” she said.

The defendants deny over 60 charges between them relating to offences alleged to have taken place between 1987 and 2003.

On Friday of last week the court was read a transcript of a police interview with Davies from June 2015. She said she lived with co-defendant Karen MacGregor for around four years.

Davies said MacGregor “seemed to get me into trouble” and that the two were involved with credit card and cheque fraud.

She told police MacGregor had never asked her to engage in sexual activity in return for living at her house. She said she never saw sexual activity at the house “unless it was behind closed doors”.

Davies denied she had forced Girl B into prostitution. “I have been there, I’ve had that done to myself,” she said. “I would never put that on anybody else.”

The court also heard from Detective Constable Andy Stephanek, who said he put together a report on PC Ali in August 2013. PC Ali has since died.

Handover

Stephanek said he spoke to Ali about claims that he was involved in a handover of an alleged abuse victim at a petrol station.

Complainant Girl J has told the court that the deal meant her alleged abuser, Arshid Hussain, would hand her over and avoid arrest.

She said several police officers were at the petrol station along with former deputy Rotherham council leader Jahangir Akhtar.

Stephanek told the court that Ali said he knew Girl J as she was regularly missing from home. He said he could only recall one occasion when he had dealt with her directly, when he visited her at her parents’ home.

PC Ali said he had never asked Jahangir Akhtar to assist with any police enquiries. He said he had no recollection of recovering Girl J from Arshid Hussain at a petrol station. PC Appleby, who was on duty with PC Ali, told Stephanek that no petrol station meeting had taken place.

The alleged handover took place on 1 March 2000. PC Ali’s police pocket book made no reference to contact with Arshid Hussain or Girl J.

Girl J has previously told the court that Ali had spoken to Hussain on the phone. She said she didn’t remember if Ali was present during the alleged handover. When asked about the lack of reference in PC Ali’s pocket book she said, “I never said PC Ali was on shift.”

Defendant Basharat Hussain, brother of Arshid Hussain, gave evidence at the beginning of the defence’s case on Wednesday of this week.

He faces charges relating to six women who say the offences took place when they were girls.

Basharat Hussain denied knowing two of the women and said he knew the other four. He said he had “boyfriend/girlfriend” relationships with some of the complainants.

Basharat Hussain denied having visited a children’s home where complainant Girl C said he had collected her from when she was 12 years old. He said her allegation that she was forced to perform oral sex on him in a car was “not true”.

Basharat Hussain also denied forcing Girl D to perform oral sex on him in a flat in Rotherham.

The trial continues.


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Article information

News
Thu 28 Jan 2016, 12:44 GMT
Issue No. 2488
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