Rotherham 'sex abuse' defendants 'willingly engaged in exploitative behaviour'

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Teenage girls in Rotherham were "targeted, sexualised and in some instances subjected to acts of a degrading and violent nature", a jury has been told.

Five men and two women have gone on trial accused of roles in the sexual exploitation of children in the South Yorkshire town over a period of more than 10 years.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Michelle Colborne QC told Sheffield Crown Court: "It is alleged that in differing ways they facilitated the sexual abuse of teenage girls.

"You will hear evidence from 12 women who were targeted, sexualised and in some instances subjected to acts of a degrading and violent nature."

Ms Colborne said one defendant, Arshid Hussain, 40, - known as Mad Ash - played a key role.

She said: "He was domineering and, in some instances, brutal in his treatment of girls.

"He used them for his own gratification, then often prostituted them or passed them on to his brothers or associates of his.

"He was assisted in differing ways by the other defendants, each willingly engaged in exploitative behaviour and using the girls to their own ends."

Arshid Hussain, 40, Qurban Ali, 53; Majid Bostan, 37; Sajid Bostan, 38; Basharat Hussain, 39; Karen MacGregor, 58; and Shelley Davies, 40, all deny a total of 63 charges between them.