A COURAGEOUS woman has revealed her identity for the first time and spoken out about being abused by the ringleader of the Rotheran sex gang.
Sammy Woodhouse, who waived her right to anonymity, said she was “fascinated” by Arshid Hussain when she met him aged just 14.
Hussain was one of three brothers behind the grooming and sexual abuse of more than 50 girls including Ms Woodhouse.
Talking to BBC Inside Out, she said she first saw Hussain, then 24, when he pulled up in his silver Vauxhall Astra at St John’s Green in Rotherham which was a popular spot for teenagers.
He took a shine to Ms Woodhouse and though he was aware of her age, treated her like a girlfriend.
She said: “I remember sitting in his car and he stroked my face…it was like he’s put a spell on me, I was fascinated with him.”
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Hussain, who was married and had children, took Ms Woodhouse out for meals and met her at B&Bs and took her to his family home.
However Ms Woodhouse explained how Hussain became “very controlling” and “very possessive”.
She added: “He started hitting me on a daily basis.
“I knew I needed to get away from him, but he was like a drug and I kept going back.
“He’d hit me and he’d say ‘It’s only because I love you. Would you rather I didn’t love you?’”
Hussain, who is now aged 40, was jailed for 35 years in 2016 after he was found guilty of multiple rapes and indecent assaults of teenage girls.
During the trial the court heard how many of the girls were chosen because they had previously been abused, were in local authority care or had unsettled home lives, making them “easy targets”.
Once the gang had their claws into the teens, they demanded sex more and more often, trafficking the girls for others to use and even pimping them out to other abusers as payments for debts.
Flats, houses and garages around Rotherham and the surrounding area became the setting for horrific acts of abuse with scores of men invited to take part.
Ms Woodhouse said she had contact with the authorities several times, but no-one intervened with police saying because she “was consenting there was nothing they could do”.
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