THE alleged ring-leader of a child sex abuse gang has admitted that he was “no angel” but denied committing the 28 crimes he is charged with.
Arshid Hussain (40) appeared in court today for the first time since his trial alongside four other men and two women began in December.
Hussain — who called the claims against him “completely wrong” — has previously appeared via videolink from his bed at home in Goole due to his medical condition.
He was due to give evidence today but her Honour Judge Sarah Wright told the jury Hussain felt too unwell to take to the witness box.
Hussain was in the court room for around 30 minutes in a wheelchair and repeatedly closed his eyes or appeared to be sleeping.
It was agreed that his lawyer, Mr Tahir Khan, would instead read his defence statement out.
In the statement, Hussain admitted he "was no angel" but denied committing any of the offences.
Hussain said: “I used to be known as Mad Ash or Crazy Ash — this was not a name I adopted, this was a name given to me.
“I accept I was no angel.
“My father was successful; I had the benefit of having nice motor vehicles and clothing.”
Hussain said people would confuse him with his brothers Basharat and Bannaras, “or other family members”.
Hussain said he did not know two of his female accusers and had never been to the Prince of Wales pub in Masborough — where the prosecution say he raped one woman.
Hussain said he knew some of the other complainants through his brothers.
He did admit to having sex with one alleged victim — who gave birth to his child aged 15 when he was aged around 24 — but claimed he believed she was over 16 and had met her in a nightclub.
“We did have consensual sexual intercourse on a number of occasions,” he said.
“I have never had anal sex with her, it’s always been vaginal or oral.
“I was infatuated with her as much as she was infatuated with me.”
Hussain denied ever abducting the girl and said she would always come to him.
“I want to make it clear that as I have explained I got married at a young age, she (the mother of his child), was aware that I was married,” he said.
“I accept I was getting into a bit of bother back then.
“Our relationship effectively died down when I went to jail.”
He added: “She has never reported me for any assault against her because I always looked after her and cared for her.
“To suggest I have groomed her in some way is completely wrong, she was my girlfriend, I was her boyfriend.”
Judge Wright also instructed the jury today to deliver a not guilty verdict against one of the two abduction charges Hussain faces between 1999 and 2001.
She said that during one of the alleged abductions the girl’s foster carer had given permission for the girl to go with Hussain and therefore on count 42 he should be found not guilty.
The woman, now aged 30, admitted this in her evidence, and so Judge Wright said this charge would be dropped.
Hussain now faces 28 charges.
It was also revealed in court from further agreed facts between the prosecution and defence that one of the complainents Hussain claims he has never met told social workers he was her boyfriend when she was younger.
An undated entry from an RMBC social worker showed the girl stated her current “boyfriend” was Arshid Hussain when she was living at Crestwick Road Children’s Home.
Risky Business records from July 2000 by Jayne Senior, who ran the service, also show the girl mentioned “Mad A, saying she had been to Halifax with him a few times, but didn’t say why”.
Hussain is charged with procuring this complainant, now aged 32, to have unlawful sex between 1997-1999 and indecently assaulting her between 1997 and 1998.
The trial continues.