PROLIFIC child abuser Arshid Hussain’s 35-year prison sentence will not be extended despite him being found guilty of yet another sexual assault.
Hussain (42) appeared at Sheffield Crown Court via videolink from Doncaster Prison this morning after being convicted by a jury in just 38 minutes yesterday.
Judge Sarah Wright sentenced him to seven years in prison for the sexual assault which occurred in 2003 against a 13-year-old girl.
But she said after taking into account the principle of totality, the sentence would run concurrent to the current 35-year jail term which Judge Wright imposed in February 2016 for 23 child sexual exploitation offences against nine other victims.
Judge Wright said: “If I had been sentencing you in February 2016 in respect of this one count against a further victim I would not have added to that total sentence of 35 years.”
Mr Peter Hampton, prosecuting, said the 28-year-old victim had been advised about the totality principle but “was pleased the trial had taken place in order to obtain some closure” and “not leave any unfinished business behind in terms of offending”.
Hussain escaped a life sentence last year due to his chronic health issues but the court heard he had been coping well in prison after footage of him had been obtained for his appeal hearing, which he lost in June this year.
Judge Wright said: “I took into account when I sentenced him in February his medical difficulties - he’s paraplegic.
“The Court of Appeal was shown footage of him in custody which showed he was coping admirably despite his difficulties.”
Hussain was originally due to stand trial for the offence in September last year alongside his brothers Sageer and Basharat, who were convicted of sexual offences against the woman alongside their cousins Asif Ali, Mohammed Whied and four friends.
But due to Hussain’s appeal hearing he was removed from the trial.
The same victim also took to the stand again in May this year to help convict a ninth man – Zalgai Ahmadi (45) - of conspiracy to commit sexual assault and false imprisonment.
Judge Wright paid tribute to the victim and called her a “truly remarkable young woman".
She added: “This is the third occasion she has had to give evidence.
“Despite the extreme psychological harm you and others have caused, she has had the courage to bring her own story out in the open and she’s sought to highlight issues of CSE (child sexual exploitation) selflessly to seek to help others.
“Her courage and strength in doing that should in no way deflect from acknowledging the extreme damage she’s suffered as a result of your offending.”
Hussain was absent throughout the six-day trial due to health reasons and appeared to doze on video link during his earlier trial.
But when he appeared today, speaking only to confirm his name, he looked alert but began closing his eyes after a while appearing to sleep.
Judge Wright added: “However, unlike your victim, you didn’t have the courage to attend the trial.
“In light of your medical issues, the court was prepared to make reasonable adjustments to secure your attendance by moving the trial to Doncaster Crown Court which could accommodate your difficulties.
“You decided not to avail yourself of these opportunities.”
Hussain was given a restraining order against the woman.
Read more on this story in Friday's Advertiser.