CAMPAIGNING MP Sarah Champion and her Labour colleague Kevin Barron have welcomed the conviction of eight men from Rotherham for child sexual exploitation offences.
Reacting to the guilty verdicts returned at Sheffield Crown Court this afternoon, the Rotherham MP said: “I would firstly like to state my absolute admiration and thanks to the survivors for coming forward.
“These young women have been trying for years to be heard.
“Now a judge, and indeed the country, has heard the horror they endured and justice has been served.
“Their courage and bravery will inspire others and we should all be grateful for that.
“Today’s verdict has hopefully given closure for the three survivors but we should not rest until we have justice for every survivor of child sexual abuse in Rotherham and across the UK.
“More than that, we need to focus our efforts on preventing future abuse, not just see it as inevitable.
“I would like to thank the police for their hard work in forensically piecing together information, some of it decades old, and the CPS for pursuing a successful prosecution.”
Mr Barron said: “I pay tribute to the victims and survivors, their courage and determination is an inspiration.
“This is another step towards justice for the victims and survivors of CSE in Rotherham. Their bravery is astounding.
“I hope that today’s verdicts will show that offenders will be tracked down and put before the court.
“I would urge any victims and survivors to please come forward and report any offences.
“It is clear that the police did not properly investigate allegations in the past and this has been proven throughout this trial.
“But I am confident going forward under Rotherham District Commander Rob Odell’s leadership they can start to right the wrongs of the past.”
Wentworth and Dearne MP Mr Healey said: “Since the Alexis Jay report exposed the extent of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, some of the worst offenders have been brought to justice, and yesterday’s verdict is welcome news for victims.
“These convictions show that lessons are being learnt but there's much more to do to reassure the community that abusers will be caught.
“It is now up to South Yorkshire Police to continue to prove that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated and that the perpetrators will have nowhere to hide.
“It is also important for all agencies in Rotherham dealing with abuse cases to continue to support victims to enable more convictions like this in the future.”
Eight guilty of 19 child sexual exploitation offences