England

Rotherham grooming gang appeal against convictions and sentences

Arshid, Basharat & Bannaras Hussain Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Arshid, Basharat and Bannaras Hussain were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court in February

Four members of a gang who groomed and abused girls in Rotherham have launched appeals against their convictions.

Brothers Arshid Hussain, 40, Basharat, 39, and Bannaras, 36, along with their uncle, Qurban Ali, 53, and Karen MacGregor, 59, were jailed in February.

Arshid, Basharat, Ali and MacGregor have submitted applications for permission to appeal their convictions, the Judicial Office has confirmed.

All four are also appealing for a reduction in their sentences.

Updates on this story and more from Sheffield and South Yorkshire

They, along with co-defendant Shelley Davies, 40, were convicted of the "systematic" sexual abuse of 15 teenage girls in the town following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Qurban Ali was found guilty of conspiracy to rape following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court
Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Karen MacGregor and Shelley Davies were also found guilty

The gang's convictions were the first since the Jay Report, published in August 2014, which found at least 1,400 girls had been sexually exploited in the town.

The report said the majority of perpetrators were men of Pakistani heritage and accused South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Borough Council of "blatant" failures and the "suppression" of documents highlighting the issue from as early as 2002.

The defendants

Arshid Hussain, 40, High Street, East Cowick, Goole, was jailed for 35 years after being convicted of 23 of the 28 charges he faced, including indecent assault, rape, abduction, false imprisonment and making threats to kill.

Basharat Hussain, 39, of no fixed abode, was imprisoned for 25 years after he was found guilty of all 15 charges including two counts of rape.

Bannaras Hussain, 36, of Bridge Close, Goole, pleaded guilty before the trial to 10 charges including rape, indecent assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm and jailed for 19 years.

Qurban Ali, 53, Clough Road, Rotherham, was handed a 10-year jail term after being found guilty of conspiracy to rape, but cleared of three other charges including rape.

Karen MacGregor, 59, Barnsley Road, Wath, South Yorkshire, was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to rape, conspiracy to procure prostitutes and false imprisonment. She was jailed for 13 years.

Shelley Davies, 40, Wainwright Road, Kimberworth Park, Rotherham, was found guilty of conspiracy to procure prostitutes and false imprisonment and was handed an 18 month suspended term.

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