His sister was the victim of Mohsin Khan, 26, one of the few men ever convicted over the grooming scandal when he was jailed — as part of a gang of five Pakistanis — for four years in 2010 for grooming a 13-year-old girl for sex.
This week, Khan has been photographed back walking the streets of Rotherham.
“My mum cried when she saw him in the newspaper,” he says.
Even now, after being taken into care because of fears she was being exploited, she doesn’t see anything particularly wrong about the older men who befriended them when they were 15.
“They would chill with us, a few of their friends, a few of our friends, and we would all have a drink together.
My dad threw cold coffee over me to try and wake me up. One of my friends went with a man to the pub and ended up being taken away for a few days and raped.
She reported it to the police but nothing ever got done about it.” There are two stark sides to post-industrial Rotherham.
With a police force seemingly paralysed by fears of appearing racist, when some fathers managed to track down their children to the grimy terraced party houses where they had been driven, they were arrested themselves and taken away. The independent report published this week which revealed so damningly the way a town has failed its young, cites a South Yorkshire Police map of the north of England in the early 2000s circled with “drugs”, “guns” and “murder” as the force priorities.
On desolate roads in the largely Asian area of Eastwood, where chipboard is nailed over the windows of crumbling terraced houses and children play on discarded mattresses and armchairs, residents describe having witnessed under-age girls arriving in the back of cars and being taken into houses used as drug squats, but say the police’s only interest was trying to shut down the dealers.
“My sister is 19 now and she is fine, with a baby on the way, but I don’t think she’s fully recovered mentally.
She doesn’t come into the park, ever, and she wants to move away from the area.” Another Rotherham victim, invisible to the authorities before it became too late, was Laura Wilson.
In sprawling Clifton Park, a grand Victorian green space, one 16-year-old boy points out the spots where the men continue to come cruising for girls after dark.