Rotherham abuse trial: Defendant admits sexual relationship
A man accused of sexually abusing girls in Rotherham has said he had a sexual relationship with one of the alleged victims.
Arshid Hussain, 40, is one of five men and two women on trial for a range of grooming offences. He denies 30 charges including five counts of rape.
The court heard Mr Hussain was too unwell to give evidence and instead his barrister read a statement to the jury.
He said he had not known the woman was below the age of consent at the time.
His barrister, Thair Khan QC, referring to the woman who became pregnant by Mr Hussain at the age of 15, said: "At all times, I [Mr Hussain] believed she was of consenting age, over the age of 16.
"To suggest I have groomed her in any sense is completely wrong. She was my girlfriend and me her boyfriend."
Mr Khan said his client also denied a sexual relationship with eight of the women who have given evidence against him and that he had never met some of them.
The seven defendants on trial at Sheffield Crown Court are charged with 62 historical child grooming offences against 12 girls over a 10-year period.
Defendants on trial:
Arshid Hussain, 40, High Street, East Cowick, Goole, faces 30 charges, including five counts of rape.
Qurban Ali, 53, Clough Road, Rotherham, faces four charges, including rape and conspiracy to rape.
Majid Bostan, 37, Ledsham Road, Rotherham faces one charge of indecent assault.
Sajid Bostan, 38, Broom Avenue, Rotherham faces seven charges, including four counts of rape,.
Basharat Hussain, 39, of no fixed abode, faces 15 charges including two counts of rape.
Karen MacGregor, 58, Barnsley Road, Wath, South Yorkshire, faces three charges, including conspiracy to rape.
Shelley Davies, 40, Wainwright Road, Kimberworth Park, Rotherham, faces two charges, including false imprisonment.
All seven deny the charges against them and the trial continues.