Justice for child sexual exploitation victims

Published Monday, 17th October 2016
Sheffield law courts
Sheffield law courts

Eight men have been found guilty today of the sexual exploitation of three girls between 1999 and 2003, following a four week trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

The case was brought to court following a two-and-a-half year multi-agency investigation into child sexual exploitation led by Rotherham Council, South Yorkshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Reacting to today's verdict, Leader of Rotherham Council Cllr Chris Read said: "Today has been a long time coming. We have seen justice done for victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation and their families. Their courage, patience and determination should inspire all of us.

"The way that we respond to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham has changed. It will continue to change to meet new and developing challenges. We know there is still a long road ahead with more work to be done, but this verdict today is clear evidence of the progress being made in tackling the scourge of those who abuse our children. We can and we are meeting our challenges with greater confidence.

"We will all continue to work together to keep our children safe, and to root out such horrific abuse wherever we find it, and whoever perpetrates it."

Ian Thomas, Rotherham Council's Strategic Director of Children and Young People's Services, added: "Today is about seeing justice for victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation here in Rotherham. This isn't about putting right the wrongs of the past, but about making sure the failings are never repeated. Over the last two years we have worked hard as part of a multi-agency approach to provide the support these women and their families deserve now and in the future. And today's verdict shows just what can be achieved and is another step in the right direction for us.

"Today sends a clear message that the way we respond to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham is very different to the past. I sincerely hope today's ruling will serve to give hope to other victims and survivors of abuse – justice can and will be done, and I would urge them to please come forward and seek help."

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