Three Girls (2017) s01e03 Episode Script

Episode 3

This programme contains some strong language from the start and scenes which some viewers may find disturbing The judge will be sat there.
The jury's going to be over there.
And the defendants, they're going to be behind a screen there.
But you won't be in here.
You'll be in a separate room with me.
Can I go out for a fag, on the day? Course you can.
When there's a break.
What if I need the toilet? Have I got to hold it in? If you need to stop, all you have to do is ask.
Ruby is pregnant.
13-year-old on the Child Protection Register.
Pregnant by a mid-30s man with a family of his own.
I can tell you his name, his address, his licence plate.
'We can get convictions here, Maggie, 'if we can re-engage the girls.
' So, you want me to help you? Yeah, we do.
You never helped me.
Why would I do that? If a jury's not going to believe her? Why are we making that assumption? 'Holly was fully aware that this would be the outcome.
'She'll be in foster care while we assess the situation.
' I can't do no more.
You can.
They're not using Amber, but they're going to use Ruby.
I'm not using anyone.
'Nine not-guilty pleas.
'Which means nine cross-examinations, 'which means nine different barristers 'telling these girls that every word they're saying is a lie.
' Are they up to it? Bye.
It is mad there.
What is? Court! But I won't be in the actual court on the day, I'll be in a room on me own.
Come on.
Let's go and get some of Nana's cake.
It's all about supporting me through the process.
Well, that's what the copper kept on saying.
And I can go out for a fag, too.
If they didn't want me to be a witness, why did they, like, beg me to do in first place? I don't want her doing it.
It's her saying she don't want all them interviews going to waste.
Mine did.
Months of them.
Do you know what? I really, really, really don't give a fuck.
I thought I'd see Hell freeze over before this got to trial.
Today's going to be about swearing in the jury and Rachel, our prosecution barrister, standing up and outlining our case.
Holly, you're the first witness for the Crown, so you'll be called first.
So, depending on what gets done today, in all likelihood you'll be going in to start giving your evidence tomorrow.
We'll need to phone Suzanne.
Who's Suzanne? I have to do stuff.
Go to AA meetings and that to get Ella back.
They write it down if you miss one.
You're not going to see any of them.
You know that, don't you? It'll all be by video link and you're just going to carry on doing what you've been doing for years.
Telling the truth.
And those 12 ordinary men and women are going to believe you.
I'll see you bright and early tomorrow.
Scum! Paedo! Get back to your own country! You're going down, you Paki bastard! He's the Paki bastard who brought the prosecution, you dickhead.
Cheers, but don't call me a "Paki bastard" again.
All rise.
It's started.
It's on BBC website.
Front page of Manchester Evening News.
Let's keep busy today, eh? Fancy going down the shops for a few bits and bobs? I might just go upstairs.
Holly Winshaw is now 19.
At the start of the time period with which you are concerned, she was 15 years old, and at the end of that period, she was 17.
Ruby Bowen is now 16.
Her 13th birthday was two days before the start of the indictment period, and at the end of that period, she was 15.
You will hear evidence about these girls' personal circumstances and their behaviour.
Holly Winshaw had fallen out with her parents and was mostly living away from home when the sexual exploitation of her began.
Ruby Bowen had had a difficult and troubled childhood and has a number of problems as a result.
You will have to decide, having heard their own descriptions of themselves and the descriptions of other people, whether their characters and their behaviour makes them unreliable witnesses as some of the defendants may say.
Or whether as the prosecution say, it simply confirms that they were exactly the sort of children who were easy to identify, target and exploit for the sexual gratification of these men.
'Amber Bowen, the older sister of Ruby Bowen, is now 19.
'The prosecution will argue 'that she's an important person in this case.
'She was also having sex with adult men 'and getting food and alcohol for doing so,' but she moved on to playing an active role in helping men including some of these defendants to sexually exploit the other girls.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the outline of the prosecution case that we'll put before you, starting with the first witness, Holly Winshaw, tomorrow morning.
Is she ready? I can't say she is, no.
Do you want to? She won't get dressed.
I'm sorry.
Have you had any breakfast? Well, I've not.
What are we having? Bacon butty.
Two of them, then, please, Julie.
The whole bloody country's waiting on this trial and she's up there having a lie-in! Nina knows what she's doing.
No point pushing her until she's ready.
Where is she? Worth giving Nina a ring? Andrew Norfolk, from The Times.
Looks like the first witness hasn't turned up.
I'll phone back later.
Andrew, every time I open The Times, there's your by-line on grooming.
It's a big story.
Is it? Is it a big story? Or does it just seem that way because there's so much reporting on it? You must admit, it's a gift for the BNP and all that lot out there.
"Innocent white victims", "dark-skinned abusers".
It's uncomfortable, isn't it? I just don't see what it achieves.
She's here.
Ignore them, ignore them, ignore them and ignore them.
Take a seat.
They need to hear you, but they don't need to see you.
Would you like a curtain? No.
Hello, Holly.
Can you see and hear me? Yes.
OK, that's a good start.
The usher should help you to swear an oath.
Has that been explained to you? Er, rather than gestures, Holly, you'll have to speak words for ease of the transcribers.
"I swear, by Almighty God, that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
" Members of the jury, the prosecution will now present its evidence in chief, which takes the form of recorded interviews with the witness, Holly Winshaw.
Now do you understand what it is that you've come to speak to me about today? Yeah.
OK, and what do you think that's about? About what happened at, um withthe menat Top Curry.
About what happened with the men at Top Curry.
Obviously, I've got to ask you some questions about what they actually did to you during the sex, OK? It hurt.
Because I didn't want to do it.
Tariq started taking us places.
He started picking us up and Amber thought that he was her boyfriend.
So, what did you think was going to happen when he picked you up? I didn't actually know he was taking us to have sex.
He said, "Don't cry" and he said, "You're beautiful".
And so, when he got on top of you, what was you doing? I were trying to move but I just gave up.
Because what was the point in trying? And what did you think about the fact that it started then with different men? I weren't even bothered any more.
Right, what do you mean by that? I didn't feel anything about it.
Why do you think you felt like that? Because it had been going on for so long.
' I want to ask you some questions today on behalf of Shabir Ahmed, who you were introduced to by a nickname "Daddy"? Before I ask you about what you say Daddy did, I want to ask you something about your background.
What caused the big falling out you had with your parents, in around June 2008? I didn't really stick to the rules.
And you were going out with a gang of girls at night, were you not? Yeah.
You were free-loading, were you not? Getting free booze.
So, alcohol and money? Yeah.
And then, mocking them.
Creating problems in Speedy Kebab and Top Curry? I wouldn't say that I was creating problems.
Was there not a crowd of you that was going to Speedy Kebab, drunk and loud and behaving very badly? There's wasn't a crowd of us.
There was about two or three at a time and it was the men in the takeaway shop that bought us the alcohol to get drunk on.
I want you to understand that I am going to be suggesting that Daddy never gave you or bought you any alcohol at all over that period or any other time.
That is the truth of the matter, is it not? No.
You told the police that when he was trying to rape you, you were trying to, "like, laugh it off, giggling and saying no.
" Is that right? Well, yeah.
I was trying to say no in, like, a giggly way.
Because I didn't want to say it in, like, a stern way, cos I didn't want to offend him.
And I was scared.
Because if I said it, like, nastily to him, I didn't know what he would do, so I just, like But he just didn't stop.
Have you got a tissue there, Holly? Thanks.
Had you not tried to shout for help if this was happening? You were being raped.
I didn't want to say anything because I was scared.
This incident did not happen, did it, Holly? Yeah, it did.
You say that you were shouting, "Get off me"? Yeah.
It could not have been the case that what you were actually shouting was, "Tell that bastard to give me my money"? No.
No, because that would suggest, would it not, that what you were upset about was not being paid, rather than the sex.
Do you remember calling my client a "Paki bastard"? I wouldn't.
I wouldn't say something like that.
I suggest to you, Miss Winshaw, that at the time of these events, your life was a bit of a mess, was it not? You were out getting drunk regularly, were you not? Yeah.
And you had been in so many different places on so many different nights with so many different men, that you simply made a mistake, did you not? No.
Can you describe the man you call "Tiger" to me, Holly.
You said, "He's Asian, obviously.
"He's got, like, a side parting in his hair.
"Like a lot of them, small.
" I think that's his height you're talking about there, is it not? Not long to go now.
You're doing great.
Just hold your nerve.
One more day.
My lovely girls! 'You're beautiful.
'When you going to let me have sex with you? 'I'm not.
' You're going with him.
You're going with him.
Holly, you're going with him.
No I'm the barrister for Abdul Aziz.
Who you knew as "Tariq".
Of all the girls that you knew who were conducting that sort of lifestyle, without doubt, you were the prettiest.
You're much prettier than Amber, are you not? Yes.
Well, I will spare your blushes, and we can deal with this in a different way.
Amber Bowen.
Now, she was the one who introduced you to thislifestyle that you complain of? Yeah.
She was.
She was the one who introduced you to the men that you complain of, yes? Yeah.
She was the one who was getting payments for the men that you make these complaints against? Yeah, she was, but some of them were getting some of the men were getting payments, as well.
So, in the scheme of things, Amber was worse than the men that you accuse, and at any rate, she was no less culpable than the men that you accuse? How do you mean? She was at least as bad as they were? In some ways.
In other ways, they were worse.
If I've understood your evidence correctly, Holly, is that you would go to an address knowing that sex was about to take place, sex would take place.
Amber would collect money.
Tariq would be called, he would collect you and Amber, and money would be given to Tariq.
Is that what happened? Yeah.
So, it was Amber who was controlling the arrangement.
It was Amber who was arranging sex.
It was Amber who was arranging transport.
I think it were both of them together.
And that is because? Because if it was just her doing it, why would she give him the money? The reality is this, is it not, Holly? That you feel profoundly very guilty about what's gone on.
I don't feel guilty because I didn't do anything wrong.
It may just be that I've read your evidence badly, but you do say, at a number of places, that you feel guilty because you didn't stand up for yourself.
Did not defend your corner.
Yeah, I didn't.
I feel ashamed.
And I feel angry that I didn't try more.
Because, obviously, at my age, a few years later if something like that were to happen again, I would do everything in my power to make sure it wouldn't happen again.
NOW you feel ashamed.
Guilty for what's gone on, yes? I don't feel guilty, I feel ashamed.
And you've been the subject, over the years, of ridicule for this lifestyle that you entered with Amber.
People were calling you names.
And this is a way, really of just cleansing all of that.
Of saying to them, "Well, you know what, "in fact, I've got nothing to be ashamed of, because I was raped.
" That's what this is really all about, is it not? I don't care about them.
I don't care about what people say.
It's four years later now.
Four years.
I've got a daughter.
I've got a life.
Idon't need "cleansed".
I want justice.
Do I look all right? Really nice.
Proper smart.
I'm going to go wait in 'ere.
Police'll be here in five minutes.
Why don't you go for a walk round the block if you don't want to see them.
I don't care.
It's just going to make you angry.
It'll upset you, and that'll upset her.
No, it won't.
I don't care if they've decided I'm not a good enough, like, victim or whatever.
Cos I'm a good mum.
I'm actually good.
And that's where my head's going.
Not on all this that happened years ago.
All rise.
Go on, Ruby.
They pass you around like a ball.
Um They, like, get your number, and then, there's like 50 people you don't know ringing you.
What do you mean, Ruby? "They pass you around like a ball"? Um They'd, like, be in a flat inin a massive circle and then, they put the white girl in the middle.
' White girl in the middle And then you'd get sent off with one of them.
And then, when you come back, you just just get passed and passed again.
' Passed and passed again Passed and passed And where was the flat?' Passed and passed There weren't one.
There were loads.
There weren't one There were loads There were loads There were loads Ruby, can you see me all right? Yeah.
And can you hear me OK? Yes.
I am the barrister who is helping the man that you call Billy, and I'd like to ask you some questions for him, please.
Now, you told us that you were in a relationship with Billy for a few months and that he was your boyfriend, yes? Yes.
And that you told him you were 16? Yeah.
And as time went on, you felt like you were in love with him, did you not? Um You're nodding.
And did it seem like he really liked you a lot, as well? Yeah.
Now then, when you have talked about when you have been with Billy, and you have had sex with him, you have talked about cuddling up with him, having a laugh and having nice sex, have you not? Yeah.
And that Billy, he was different from the other men that you met, because you told us, the other men, they were one-night stands, whereas Billy, he was a proper boyfriend, yes? Um Yeah.
I have no more questions.
Ruby! You met Ruby Bowen before your son was born, is that right? Yes.
And you had a sexual relationship with her from October 2008, is that right? Yes.
Two photographs in the jury bundle were taken when Ruby Bowen was in Year 9.
That is the girl with whom you had a sexual relationship, is it not? I don't deny the fact, from looking at the picture, that that's the same girl.
These photographs were taken when she was 13 and 14.
Are you seriously saying to this jury that you thought she was 20 to 25 years old? Mr Ahmed, do you deny all of the allegations? I deny everything.
But you accept, as you've told this jury, that the forensic evidence has your semen on those items of underwear? Where did Holly Winshaw get your semen from? I had a sexual relationship with Amber, and, if Amber took a condom, this Winshaw girl, very clever, very sharp, intelligent, knows everything, who knows what she did.
Why would Holly fabricate evidence against you? They get into this business together.
They decide on this joint venture together and they carry it out very well.
They're making a lot of money, and then she falls out with Amber, and It's very nice and very easy for policemen, because they want to climb the ladder of their career.
Fuck the Pakistanis.
Mr Ahmed, can we stick to? No.
No, we can't.
Where are your white people? They train them in sex, they train them in drinking from very young age, and then, when they come to us, by that time, they're fully trained.
You should look in mirror.
Look at yourself first.
Look at your community.
Where's school? Where's Social Services? Where is everybody else? You're lovely with her.
How do you see your future together? I'd like to go to college.
I'd like to move away from Rochdale.
Does that feel achievable? Yeah.
We'll not keep you in suspense any longer, Holly.
We're going to keep the care order in place, but we'll have joint responsibility with you.
What does that mean? Ella's going to be coming home to you.
We want it to be a smooth transition for her, so we'll liaise with the foster family and start making arrangements next week.
You've worked really hard, Holly.
We've got every confidence in you.
In a complex case like this one, where we'd expect the jury to be out for some weeks, this briefing is an opportunity for members of the press to ask any questions that may have arisen during trial.
Yep, over here, yep.
Why didn't the CPS prosecute this case in 2008 when Holly Winshaw first went to the police? At that time, it was considered that there was an unrealistic prospect of conviction.
What changed? The key evidence used in this trial, you had in 2008.
The perpetrators were allowed to continue offending for a further two years.
Why did the CPS drop the case? Was there an issue around the ethnicity of the perpetrators? There was an issue around the witness, not the perpetrators.
What happened is that, initially, a CPS lawyer formed the view that the witness would not be credible.
That's why the case didn't progress to court.
I came here last year and I reversed that decision.
I looked at it afresh and I formed a different view.
That she was absolutely credible.
Mr Afzal, would you say that Holly Winshaw was betrayed? I have no difficulty in apologising to her.
She was let down by the whole system and we were part of that system.
They're here! They're here! Holly! Holly, come quick! They're here! She decided to dress herself this morning in case you're wondering why she's got on that hat.
Mummy Will the foreman please stand? Have the jury reached a verdict on any count? Yes.
On the charge of trafficking within the United Kingdom for sexual exploitation, do you find the defendant, Shabir Ahmed, guilty or not guilty? Guilty.
You're a biased jury! Racist! On the charge of rape of a child, do you find the defendant, Shabir Ahmed, guilty or not guilty? Guilty.
Ya bastard! Ya bastard! Take him to the cells.
Get off me! Get your hands off me! Get off me! Kabeer Hassan? On the count of rape of a child, do you find the defendant guilty or not guilty? Guilty.
Abdul Rauf? Guilty.
Mohammed Sajid? Guilty.
Mohammed Amin? Guilty.
Adil Khan? On the count of conspiring to engage in sexual activity with a child? Do you find the defendant guilty or not guilty? Guilty.
Abdul Aziz? On the count of trafficking within the United Kingdom for sexual exploitation.
Do you find the defendant guilty or not guilty? Guilty.
On the count of rape of a child.
Do you find the defendant guilty or not guilty? Guilty.
Would you watch Ella for me? All right? All right?' Dunno, yet.
Depends what you're going to say next.
I'm going to say guilty.
Every single one of them involved with you.
You there? Look to your right.
I called your house.
Your mum said you were here.
You can't take it in, can ya? Neither can I.
I don't feel anything.
You will do.
You'll be bathing Ella or making some pasta, I don't know, watching telly and it's going to hit ya.
Like, "Fuck, this actually happened"? No, like, "Fuck, I actually did this".
It were you, Holly.
It were you speaking up again and again and again to me and to your dad and to the police and holding your own against nine bloody barristers! It were you.
19 years.
Shabir Ahmed 19 years Sorry.
I'm sorry.
I had all these ideas about you since you were that high.
What you were going to be, what you were going to do and all that.
And how people would say, "Oh, Jim's daughter, yeah, the smart one.
"She's gone on to do this, that and the other.
" Jim! But seeing you do what you've done over them months in court.
Finding the strength to do what you did in there after everything you've been through, after everything that's happened to you.
That's the proudest moment of my life.
I have got so much respect for you.
I take my hat off to you.
You are so messy.
I'm going to get a cloth to wipe that up.
'This has been a fantastic result for British justice.
'These victims have been through the most horrendous of crimes 'and I just want to commend their bravery 'in relation to the ordeal they've had to go through.
'A long number of weeks in court 'and they've had to go through a lot of trauma.
'I would also like to thank my officers 'for the professionalism and dedication they have shown 'in a very complex inquiry.
'This is the first time in UK history 'that we've had trafficking within the UK.
' I've gone down 60% since the verdict.
Cos people would rather wait for a white driver than get in me cab.
That's why we set up this group.
To bring the people of Rochdale together.
This is a great place to live and it's time, now, to focus on the positive.
People in the community must have known was what going on.
Are you saying that I knew about this? No, what I'm saying is Cos, believe me, if I had, I'd have rounded 'em up meself and took 'em down to police station meself.
You see the people who won't get in your cab now, that's just racist.
That's them saying that all Pakistanis are the same.
Ethnicity is not an issue here.
It's not an issue.
It's a fact.
The vast majority of sex offenders are white male.
90% are British white males acting on their own.
But in this particular type of crime, on-street grooming of vulnerable girls, it's overwhelmingly British-Pakistani men acting together.
Right, and that's my responsibility, is it? Cos I'm a British-Pakistani, too? Are white people ever asked to account for the deviant behaviour of other white people? No.
It isn't about whether the guys that did it are Pakistani.
It's what the hell was a 13-year-old girl doing in that flat? You're blaming the victim.
That victim could have been your sister or your daughter.
Cos my sister or my daughter our daughters aren't hanging about on street corners in short skirts with their chests hanging out.
They were in trackie bottoms, these girls were in school uniform.
These men had disgusting attitudes to women.
Not just white women.
ALL women.
That is a tiny, tiny proportion of British-Pakistanis.
I know.
But as long as that attitude exists at all, here, in Rochdale, in our community, there'll be repercussions for all of us.
'Now as you may have heard in the news, 'the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board 'has published its report this morning 'on the catalogue of failures in the police and Social Services 'which led to the continued grooming and rape of a number of girls.
'The report is very clear about the failings 'from all the organisations involved 'with the young people.
There was more 'that could and should have been done to protect them.
'But The Guardian reports this morning 'that 83 referrals were made by a worried NHS Sexual Health Team, 'who had obviously seen these girls.
'Why were they ignored and why are they not in your report? 'When professionals have got concerns 'and they're not getting the response that they need, 'there is a board policy that says it should be escalated 'within their own organisation and within social care 'and that wasn't done satisfactorily, obviously.
' What's the matter with you? Driving in, just heard someone from Rochdale Council Safeguarding Children on the radio Saying what? Have they "learnt lessons"? Have they "been on a journey"? There's no spin on earth that they can put on this to make themselves look good.
They're saying we never shared information! What? We didn't "escalate our concerns".
They're saying they didn't know because we didn't tell them.
No way.
No way is this happening.
Management's not going to bat for us.
She's saying, "Oh, don't worry about it, Sara, "the truth will come out at some point.
" Right.
We're going to the union.
I feel like I'm going mad.
It's not you.
It's everybody else.
That's what mad people think.
You do look a bit It's the hood.
Let's take the hood down.
I'm not cut out for this, you know? Whistle-blowing.
Erin Brockovich in an anorak! Erin Brockovich could have done with an anorak.
Seven years.
I've been telling people for seven years.
And even now, they just don't want to know.
I watched the ACC on the steps of court tie it up in a bow.
Well, it was a very successful operation, Maggie.
But that's not the whole story, is it? You can be sure that whatever went on down in Rochdale in 2008 will be fully dealt with by the IPCC.
Yeah, but I'm talking about 2005.
GMP has known that they have a problem with on-street grooming since 2005, at least.
And, um, I know because I was part of a of a scoping exercise in 2005 to see whether or not we had a problem in Greater Manchester with child grooming.
And it found that we did.
But nothing was done about it.
The investigation was dropped.
There were no arrests.
There were no prosecutions.
Sorry, Maggie.
Is that a question or a grievance? I'm not comfortable with what we're claiming we knew and didn't know.
And I'm not comfortable with the way we're treating victims.
I wasn't comfortable in 2005 and I'm not comfortable now.
Is this about Amber Bowen? This is about the ethics of subjecting vulnerable witnesses to months of questioning and then dropping them with no explanation, and no further action against anyone that they've named.
Amber Bowen is a very particular case.
She wasn't.
She was a victim, just like the other girls.
But no-one was ever arrested or even interviewed in relation to what they did to her.
Look, I know you've had this explained to you many times before.
Yes, but not in a way that makes me feel any better about the decision.
But I will go over it with you again.
There was no way that girl was going in the witness box.
CPS was absolutely clear about that and it was their call to make.
But They then realised, a little bit late in the day, it must be said, that they needed the girl's evidence.
So, they had to find a tactical way to introduce it at trial.
How do you use someone's evidence if you don't call them as a witness? By putting them on the indictment.
Amber was named as one of the co-conspirators with the men.
What! It was purely tactical, Margaret.
No-one was interested in prosecuting her.
Does she know about this? Has anyone even bothered to tell her?! I'm sure she was kept fully informed.
All right! What's all this? Can you just take it? Help me! What's happened? What's wrong with you? They're trying to take her.
Who are? Who's trying to take her? Social Services.
They called me in.
They're trying to get a court date.
Don't be soft, they can't do that! What for? You're a brilliant mum! What they saying you've done? They're not saying I've done owt.
They're saying there's a risk that I could though.
As if I'd do anything to hurt her! Why me, Mum? Why is it always me?! Don't open it, Mum.
Don't! It might be Ruby.
No, it's not Ruby.
Ruby's got keys.
No, it is her.
Please, Mum.
It's Ok.
All right.
It's Ok.
They've gone.
They've gone.
It's Maggie.
It's Margaret Oliver.
What you doing? Coming here? Now.
Didn't return me calls.
Didn't reply to me texts.
You promised all sorts.
Should've known never to trust the police.
I'm not the police.
Then why you turning up here, then? Cos no-one can tell me not to.
I've left GMP.
I've resigned.
I, um I I don't know what the police told you about why you didn't get to go to court.
I don't care.
I don't give a shit about that now.
They didn't say nothing.
Justthey're using Ruby, but they're not using her.
That decision, I strongly disagreed with it.
But I got taken off the job after that and ordered not to have any contact with you.
But at some point, the powers that be decided that though they weren't going to call you as a witness, they still needed to be able to use your evidence.
And as a way of doing that, you were named by the Crown on one of the charges.
How do you mean? The Crown listed you alongside the men, on charge of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.
What that meansis that you were as responsible as the men for what happened to Holly and Ruby and all the other girls.
So, they're calling me a rapist? Is that what you're saying? They're calling me a paedophile? That's why this is happening.
Why what's happening? Don't tell her.
Don't tell her nothing.
They're trying to take Yasmin off her.
Why? Why? Why? Course they want to take her off me.
Not cos of owt I've done to her, just cos of me.
Who I am.
What's happened to me.
And they never could.
But now, I've been named as a fucking sex offender, I have got no chance.
Well, that's not going to happen.
First thing tomorrow, you're going to go and get a solicitor.
And I'm going to come with you.
Why do you care? Why are you even here? Because I let you down.
I gained your trust and I promised you things and I betrayed you.
It was ME you trusted.
It was ME you poured your heart out to.
And I'm sorry.
Because that's not how you treat people.
That's not why I became a police officer.
And I I couldn't help you as a police officer.
But, maybe, I can help you now.
Why? Because you need it.
And because you deserve it.
And When it all comes out what's been done to girls like you and it will I want to look back and say I was on the right side of it.
Do you think the failure in Rochdale was due to incompetence or indifference? This is a Select Committee, and I know you will answer frankly, Miss Rowbotham.
It was attitudes towards teenagers.
It was absolute disrespect that vulnerable young people did not have a voice.
That they were overlooked, that they were discriminated against and they were treated appallingly by protective services.
I think we need an absolute shift in what constitutes a reliable witness.
As I've already explained, those young people do not present as clear-cut victims.
They don't clearly state, "I am being abused.
" They are absolutely entrenched in a horrible set of manipulation and coercion.
They are living in absolute fear, so won't easily fit a box that allows a judicial system to easily see that this is a child that is being abused.
Transcribed by Uncle Andy