Child sex abuse trial: Witness' claims about police "contradicted by secret tape"

By Adele Forrest | 19/01/2016 0 comments

Child sex abuse trial: Witness' claims about police 'contradicted by secret tape'

A TRANSCRIPT of a secretly recorded meeting between an alleged child sex abuse victim and police supports some of the claims she made in others but contradicts others - including that officers rejected her offer to provide DNA proving her alleged abuser fathered her child.

The jury in the ongoing Rotherham abuse trial was today read the transcript of the meeting which the alleged victim said she had secretly recorded because she "did not trust one of the officers".

In it, a detective admits police officers involved in the historic scandal could “lie” if they were questioned about the alleged abuse, but contradicts some of the claims she made about potential DNA evidence.

The woman — a complainant in the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal who was made pregnant by defendant Arshid Hussain when she was 15 — told the court yesterday that she made the recording in March 2013 when PC Diane Garner and Det Con Lee Robinson visited her to discuss making a formal statement about her alleged abuse at the hands of Hussain.

She said she recorded the meeting because she previously had previously known PC Garner and knew she was a “bad officer” who she could not trust.

The woman said during the taped interview she did not feel supported and that PC Garner had been dismissive of everything she was told.

She said in court that she told the officers she could provide DNA evidence from her son to prove Hussain was the father, but claimed she was told not to because of the upset it may cause the child.

The witness also claimed she asked the visiting officers to contact police officers who had been involved with her when she was a child.

She told the court PC Garner had said no police officers would come forward because they would lose their jobs.
 
The transcript was read to the jury today and showed it was PC Garner who first mentioned about having a DNA test done on the child and said that would be a “starting point”, and that it was her colleague who said officers could potentially lie about historical events.

PC Garner adds: “I don't know how we are going to do that (A DNA test). If you decide to go ahead with, and that would have to be done very very delicately with him, if your child agrees to do a DNA test, We can’t force them to do it.”

In the covert recording, the woman then asks: “What if Hussain claimed he believed she was over 16 when he got you pregnant?”

Det Con Robinson and PC Garner reply that would be for them to “try and work round that”.
PC Garner adds: “But that’s something we would have to look at, gaining evidence that we could show that he knew you were under 16 at the time.”

The woman asks: “After the kind of things you've seen in the files and stuff do you think I am wasting my time?”

Det Con Robinson says: “We wouldn't discourage anyone.”

PC Garner adds: “I wouldn’t say that to anybody.”

Det Con Robinson adds: “It’s what you want to get out of it, if you want to get out of it that you've tried, you've got it off your chest.

“End of day we will help and support you as much as we can, we won’t be here 24-hours a day, 365 days a year for you, there will be support there for you, we can’t sit here all the time with you.”

Robinson went on to ask: “What do you want to get out of it, do you want to see him go to prison or do you just want to get out of it I've had my day.”

The woman replied: “I think it’s just wrong what he's done and he needs to be punished for it.”

Robinson says: “We won’t sit here and say we will take him to court, we will send him to prison, we will try for you.”

Robinson told the woman there may be some “stuff in her social care records that will support what you are saying”, but warned files could be sparse, adding: “They were not as good at record keeping years ago as they are today.

“Now they do a visit, everything is on computer, but years ago just some papers, kept as bare minimum.”

The woman asked if she named police officers "who knew and stuff”, would they have to make a statement.

Det Con Robinson said: “How, in what way do they know?”

The woman said police officers always “found them with us” and refers a time when she was 14 and police found her in a house having sex with Ash, but claims she was arrested and not Ash.

Det Con Robinson answers: “If they can say: 'I went to his house and found her and him together', it corroborates the fact that you are saying you were with him.”

The woman said: “Well they used to ring him and tell him that police were looking for me and stuff."

Det Con Robinson said: “Whether that assists in proving that you were having sexual relations with him, at that point, and him sexually abusing you at that point...depends what they can say and what they will say in a statement.

“I can't guarantee that...as much as you'd like, if they walked in there and they saw you were having sex on the floor and they know that you're only 14 and they've seen this Asian male having sex with you, if they put that in a statement, they know full well they are going to get in the sh** because why didn't they do something about that?”

The woman answered: “That’s why I think some of them that I could give names won't, because they know I know stuff about them what they could get sacked for.”

Det Con Robinson replied: “So it may be that if we went to speak to that person, they might turn around and say: ‘I didn't see anything like that because (inaudible)’.

“You do have to bear in mind, although you think a professional is seeing something it doesn't mean they're necessarily going to do anything, and I can't force them to write something if they say I never saw it. I can't force them to write it down.”

Det Con Robinson added: “They may say: ‘I walked in there and yeah they were laying on the floor under the duvet and I thought it's not really right, she's too young but that's all I saw and she was happy with it, and then we took her out there, and the next day she's back there.’

“Opinions have changed now. Now we identify that as child abuse. Before they'd see it as sort of a ‘lovesick teenager that keeps going back to this fella and it’s so inappropriate, shouldn’t be going back, what can we do about it, drag her out, next night she's back there’.

“We now identify that as grooming process that has gone off and that's why you’re back there, but 10, 20 years ago it wasn’t identified.”

PC Garner then explained that today they would serve an abduction notice on the adult even if the child did not make a complaint, to which the woman said that “a lot had changed” and the abduction notices were “good”.
 

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