- Karen MacGregor duped council into believing she was a trustworthy carer
- Gave home to vulnerable girls but prostituted them to violent paedophiles
- Those included brothers Arshid, Basharat and Bannaras Hussain
- Trio and their uncle Qurban Ali, 53, were today convicted of sex offences
- Brothers guilty of raping and indecently assaulting a dozen white girls
- MacGregor and Shelley Davies also found guilty for their roles in sex ring
- Convictions are first in probe into child rackets operating in Rotherham
update....Rotherham gang which groomed, raped and abused teenage girls is jailed for total of 102 years including 35-year term for ringleader 'Mad Ash'
Karen MacGregor, described in court as a 'mother figure', took in girls from children's homes purporting to give them a safe haven and support - only to then have them abused
A female carer who offered her 'Hansel and Gretal house' to vulnerable young girls in Rotherham made them repay her by prostituting them out to a violent family of paedophiles.
Brothers Arshid, 40, Basharat, 39, and Bannaras Hussain, 36, were today found guilty of carrying out a catalogue of sickening sexual offences in the first case following revelations of mass grooming in the south Yorkshire town.
They were given access to their victims by local women Karen MacGregor, 58, and Shelley Davies, 40.
MacGregor, described in court as a 'mother figure', took in girls - all of whom were white - from children's homes, purporting to give them a safe haven and support.
But she allowed them to be abused and kept captive, telling them they needed to 'earn their keep' by having sex with a succession of visiting men.
She even set up a support group - KinKids - for family members looking after children whose parents could no longer cope.
With the women's help, the Hussain brothers - known as Mad Ash, Bash and Bono - were able to rape multiple girls, many of whom were also indecently assaulted.
The group targeted 15 vulnerable girls, one aged only 11, and forced them to perform horrific sex acts over a sixteen year period. All five now face jail.
The convictions are the first following investigations into allegations of sex abuse in Rotherham.
Over the course of the two month trial - and with its conclusion today - it was revealed:
- How MacGregor used her status as a trusted foster parent to lure vulnerable girls into her care only to pimp them out to men often double their age who hung around her home
- That she ran a support network for carers who had taken on the care of children for family members who could no longer cope
- The Hussain brothers were violent, gun wielding thugs who believed that they 'owned' Rotherham
- As many as 15 teenage girls were targeted by the ring, with at least 12 sexually abused
- There are more than 190 allegations about the conduct of officers relating to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham currently being examined by the police watchdog. It follows claims
- made during the trial that police knew what was happening but failed to act
- Victim considered the trial 'one of the hardest things' she had ever had to go through
- Police believe without the women - most of whom are now in their 30s - it would have been impossible to convict anyone for their roles in the heinous crimes.
Arshid and Basharat Hussain were found guilty of dozens of attacks between them.
Bannaras Hussain admitted ten charges - including rape, indecent assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm - at the beginning of the trial.
The brothers' uncle, Qurban Ali, 53, appeared alongside them in court. He too was found guilty of conspiracy to rape.
Brothers Arshid (left), 40, and Basharat Hussain (middle), 39, committed multiple rapes and indecent assaults on teenagers in the South Yorkshire town. Their younger brother, Bannaras Hussain (right), 36, admitted ten charges - including rape, indecent assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm
MacGregor and Davies were found guilty of conspiracy to procure prostitutes and false imprisonment.
Two other men, Majid Bostan, 37 and Sajid Bostan, 38, also brothers, were cleared of all charges.
In a trial that lasted two months, Sheffield Crown Court heard how teenage girls in the town were repeatedly raped and beaten by men who passed them around and forced some to work as prostitutes.
A jury of six women and six men deliberated on a total of 51 counts, involving 12 alleged victims, from Wednesday last week.
Their verdicts were announced this morning.
During the trial the court heard women describe how they were were targeted in their young teens and subjected to brutal treatment as they were passed around men who raped and beat them.
Some described how they were trafficked, locked up, physically assaulted and threatened with death.
Several of the 15 victims watched today's verdicts from the public gallery, overlooking the packed court, holding hands with each other.
Arshid Hussain, who claims to be paraplegic, appeared from his bed at home via video link looking as if he was asleep.
The Hussain brothers' uncle, Qurban Ali 53, was also found guilty of conspiracy to rape. Shelley Davies, 40, was found guilty of conspiracy to procure prostitutes and false imprisonment
His brother Basharat was surrounded by prison officers in the dock. He was taken away with MacGregor and Davies after the verdict was announced.
Judge Sarah Wright said they will be sentenced on Friday.
The convictions of the Hussain brothers and their associates is the first successful prosecution of a grooming gang in Rotherham since the child sexual exploitation scandal engulfed the town 18 months ago.
Rotherham became a byword for the exploitation of teenage girls and the failure of police and social workers to stop it happening with the publication of the Jay Report in August 2014.
Professor Alexis Jay said she had found 'utterly appalling' examples of 'children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally-violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone'.
Professor Jay's report shocked the nation partly due to the scale of exploitation it described, finding that at least 1,400 children had been raped, trafficked and groomed in the town over a 16-year period.
But its impact was so far reaching because it also laid bare the extend to which police and council officials failed to act on what they knew, and explicitly questioned whether this neglect was related to the perpetrators largely being adult men of a Pakistani heritage
Although the Jay Report resulted in the Rotherham exploitation becoming a national scandal, it was the previous major prosecution of a grooming gang in the town that kick-started this process.
In 2010, five men - Umar Razaq, Razwan Razaq, Zafran Ramzan, Adil Hussain, Mohsin Khan - were found guilty of a string of sex offences against girls aged between 12 and 16.
This case provoked some media attention but did not gain nationwide coverage.
But it was followed by a growing number of prosecutions of a similar nature around the UK, including in Derby, Oxford and Rochdale.
Arshid Hussain (pictured) raped his young victims and subjected them to a catalogue of indecent assaults
Hussain, who claims to be paraplegic, appeared from his bed at home via video link looking as if he was asleep
Times reporter Andrew Norfolk exposed a pattern of mainly white teenage girls being groomed by gangs of adult men of a Pakistani heritage.
When Mr Norfolk began to disclose in detail the stories of girls who had been exploited in Rotherham, it started a chain of events that led to Rotherham Council asking Professor Jay to look into what was happening.
Waves of criticism followed, aimed mainly at Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police.
Resignations included the leader and chief executive of the council as well as its director of children's services.
The most high-profile casualty was South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright, who was the councillor in charge of Rotherham's children's services between 2005 and 2010.
Professor Alexis Jay found 'utterly appalling' examples of abuse in her investigation into Rotherham child sex rings
A further review of Rotherham Council by the Government's Troubled Families chief, Louise Casey, heaped more criticism on an authority she labelled as 'not fit for purpose' and 'in denial'.
That led to the then communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles handing over its powers to a panel of appointed commissioners.
South Yorkshire Police says it now has a team of more than 60 officers working on child sexual exploitation (CSE).
Its joint operation with the council and Crown Prosecution Service - Operation Clover - has resulted in the current prosecution and others currently moving through the criminal justice system.
The National Crime Agency has also been brought in to investigate historical crimes and last year announced it was looking at 300 potential suspects.
The police and the NCA have said that successful prosecutions are the key to building trust with the survivors of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
But, also last year, David Greenwood, a lawyer who represents 58 women who were subjected to sexual abuse by gangs of men in Rotherham between 1996 and 2012, said he was aware of fewer than 100 victims who had come forward.
Lesley McLean, Manager for the independent charity Victim Support in Rotherham, today paid tribute to the woman who relived their horrific experiences in the dock.
She said: 'These convictions are testament to the bravery of the vulnerable girls who came forward to give evidence in court – this can be extremely stressful, especially in a high profile trial.
'As a charity which supported many of these victims through our Vulnerable Victims Programme, and thousands of victims of sexual assault every year, we know that this harrowing crime can have a long-lasting, devastating impact on people's lives. It's vital that victims are aware of the support available to them.'
VICTIM: TRIAL 'ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS EVER...BUT SO WORTH IT'
The mother figure who pimped out girls she put up at her 'Hansel and Gretel house' had set up support group for troubled children that was on its way to charitable status when she was arrested
One of the women facing jail for her role in the sex ring was a foster parent who forced vulnerable young girls in her care to pleasure men double their age as a means of recompense.
Karen MacGregor offered what appeared to be a safe haven for helpless teenagers in Rotherham.
As a carer, the 58-year-old championed better rights for those who looked after children that were not their own.
She met with her local MP to discuss the issue, set up a support group, and was a trusted face with children's homes across South Yorkshire, from whom she adopted the abandoned teens.
Karen MacGregor offered what appeared to be a safe haven for helpless teenagers in Rotherham but behind closed doors she was prostituting the terrified schoolgirls out to violent paedophiles
Yet behind closed doors she was prostituting the terrified schoolgirls out to violent paedophiles.
Described in court as a 'mother figure', MacGregor took in girls from children's homes, purporting to give them haven and support.
The jury heard how she lured the vulnerable girls to stay at her 'Hansel and Gretel' house in Rotherham, promising them safety and refuge.
But she allowed them to be abused and kept captive, telling them they needed to 'earn their keep' by having sex with a succession of visiting men.
By doing so, she paved the way for as many as 12 girls to suffer years of grotesque abuse.
With her help, the Hussain brothers - known as Mad Ash, Bash and Bono - were all able to rape and indecently assault multiple girls.
On the outside, however, she continued to appear as a force for local good, even years after her role in the child sex ring.
In 2014 she helped set up the Grimsby branch of Kinkids - a support group for family members looking after children whose parents could no longer cope.
It gathered the support of Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey - and was even due to be given charitable status when MacGregor was arrested last year.
Speaking in January 2015, she said: 'People need to realise we are saving councils thousands and thousands of pounds.
'I'm not saying we should get the same money as foster carers, but we need the same rights, support and access to social services.
'We don't get anything. I know people who have lost their homes and their relationships because they're a kin carer. Some look after several children.
'Some have to fight social services to keep the children to start off with.'
MailOnline have contacted Mr Healey for comment.
In a post on his website, he today said: 'It has taken 18 months since Alexis Jay exposed the extent of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, but some of the worst offenders have now been brought to justice.
'There is no doubt the police did not properly investigate allegations in the past and these were totally unacceptable failings, as I've said from the start. But through renewed investigations, more resources and thorough work South Yorkshire Police have secured major convictions today and I hope this case will be the first of many.
'There can be no hiding place for those who've committed these evil crimes – no matter how long ago.
'These convictions are a significant step forward in reassuring victims and in rebuilding public confidence that abusers will be brought to justice. I want to see more brought before the courts as quickly as possible.'
But incredibly the MP's website still contains a blog post from July 2014 in which Mr Healey backs MacGregor's campaign for carers to be provided better support.
It refers to how the pair worked together to promote the work of kinship carers - family members who step in when a parent can no longer cope with their child.
MacGregor even attended an event at Westminster.
Police watchdog now probing almost 200 allegations of officers 'ignoring' sex abuse claims
More than 190 allegations about the conduct of officers relating to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham are now being examined by the police watchdog following a trial peppered with familiar claims that agencies knew what was happening but failed to act.
Some of the women who took to the witness box recounted a now well-known story of how they were not believed or simply ignored.
One police officer was even named by a victim who said he was actually having sex with girls involved in the exploitation.
South Yorkshire's former Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright lost his job in the wake of the scandal. Pc Hassan Ali was under investigation following complaints about his dealings with alleged child sexual exploitation victims when he died in a road accident last year
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) it is now involved in 55 ongoing investigations into 'allegations about how South Yorkshire Police dealt with child sexual exploitation in Rotherham'.
The commission said these cover a range of allegations, from a failure to act on reported child sexual exploitation to corruption.
POLICE CHIEF PRAISES VICTIMS
The IPCC said it is undertaking 'ongoing research and analysis work' into more than 194 allegations made by 41 complainants to date - 92 of the allegations relate to police officers who have been identified, but 102 involve as yet unidentified officers.
It said 54 officers have been named so far - 26 of these have been advised they are the subject of an investigation that, if proven, would amount to misconduct ,and the remaining 28 are subject to ongoing assessment.
During the trial, one woman who spent three days describing how she was repeatedly abused and assaulted from the age of 11, told the jury how she told a detective called Kenneth Dawes about what happened but no action was taken.
She said: 'He used to have sex with girls and he used to take drugs from people and pass them on to Ash.'
The jury was told Pc Dawes was arrested last year and is currently under investigation.
Another police officer who was mentioned in the trial - Pc Hassan Ali - died last year following a collision on a road in Sheffield.
Pc Ali was under investigation by the IPCC at the time of his death following complaints about his dealings with alleged child sexual exploitation victims.
Claims of failures by Rotherham Council representatives were also made in the trial.
One woman took to the witness box to describe how a councillor was involved in a deal for Arshid Hussain to return her when she went missing with him.
She said the councillor had rung Hussain and arranged for her to be dropped off at a petrol station on the understanding 'he wouldn't get done'.
And many victims told how they were spirited away from children's homes by their abusers with the knowledge of those in charge.
One said Basharat Hussain picked her up with friend from a care home when she was 12 years old, saying: 'Is it OK to bring them back at 11?'
One of the charges of abduction faced by Arshid Hussain was dropped halfway through the trial because it was accepted by the judge that a council-approved foster carer allowed the 15-year-old girl involved to go off with the defendant.
Another victim, who said she was made to work as a teenage prostitute, told the jury she had proof police and social workers knew that she was being abused by Arshid Hussain in 2000.
She said: 'Why did they leave it 15 years before knocking on my door and saying they knew?'
The tearful mother of one of the victims told the trial how she found an exercise book in which her daughter had recorded heartbreaking details of the abuse to which she was subject.
The woman said the police and social services were not interested in the book and she later burned it.
Some of the women cited distrust of the police as they told the court why they went to the media to tell their stories - especially to The Times - before they went to the authorities.
During the trial at Sheffield crow court (pictured), one woman who spent three days describing how she was repeatedly abused and assaulted from the age of 11, told the jury how she told a detective called Kenneth Dawes about what happened but no action was taken
One said: 'The only reason the police started this investigation was because The Times printed my story.'
IPCC deputy chair Rachel Cerfontyne said: 'Our investigative work examining allegations about how South Yorkshire Police responded to reported child sexual exploitation in Rotherham continues to expand.
'This is complex work dealing with non-recent allegations and involving vulnerable and traumatised victims. We are committed to ensuring the allegations are investigated sensitively and thoroughly.'