Rotherham child sex exploitation trial: 'Majority decisions will be accepted'


A jury considering verdicts in the trial of five men and two women charged with offences relating to alleged child sexual exploitation in Rotherham has been told by a judge she will accept majority decisions.

For two months, Sheffield Crown Court has heard allegations that teenage girls in the South Yorkshire town were raped and beaten by men who passed them around and forced some to work as prostitutes.

A jury of six women and six men has been deliberating on a total of 51 counts, involving 12 alleged victims, since Wednesday last week.

The charges include allegations of rape, indecent assault, abduction, false imprisonment and procuring women to be prostitutes.

Judge Sarah Wright told the jury she will accept verdicts if at least 10 jurors agreed. But she urged them to continue to try and reach unanimous decisions.

At the beginning of the trial, prosecutor Michelle Colborne QC told the jury they will hear from women who were "targeted, sexualised and in some instances subjected to acts of a degrading and violent nature" when they were teenagers.

The jury has heard women describe how they were were targeted in their young teens and subjected to brutal treatment as they were passed around men who raped and beat them.

Some described how they were trafficked, locked up, physically assaulted and threatened with death.

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 range of charges.