Lord Ahmed of Rotherham: Ex-Labour peer jailed for child sex offences

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Lord Ahmed

Former Labour peer Lord Ahmed of Rotherham has been jailed after being found guilty of child sex offences following a trial in Sheffield.

Lord Ahmed of Rotherham was convicted of a serious sexual assault against a boy and the attempted rape of a young girl.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the repeated sexual abuse happened in Rotherham when he was a teenager.

The judge said the offences were “so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified”.

He said: “Your actions have had profound and lifelong effects on the girl and the boy, who have lived with what you did to them for between 46 and 53 years.

“The statements which they have made express more eloquently than I ever could how your actions have affected and continue to affect their lives in so many different and damaging ways.”

Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, stood trial in Sheffield for offences dating back more than 40 years.

A woman told jurors that Ahmed attempted to rape her in the early 1970s, when the defendant was about 16 or 17 years old but she was much younger.

The former politician was also found guilty of a serious sexual assault against a boy under 11, also in the early 1970s.

The jury was played a recording of a telephone call between the two complainants, made by the woman after she went to the police in 2016.

Tom Little QC, prosecuting, told the jury that the call was prompted by the man contacting the woman by email saying: “I have evidence against that paedophile.”

Ahmed found guilty of two counts of attempted rape and one of buggery.

The judge said that according to legal guidelines, the sentence must be in line with what would have been imposed at the time the offence was committed.

He jailed Ahmed for three-and-a-half years for the offence of buggery, and imposed two concurrent sentences of two years for each of the attempted rapes.

Lavender also adjourned the case for six weeks to determine whether Ahmed could pay prosecution costs.

During the trial, the prosecutor Tom Little QC said Ahmed claimed the allegations were a “malicious fiction” but a recording of a 2016 phone conversation between the two victims showed they were not “made up or concocted”.

Lord Ahmed is one of the most controversial peers in the Lords and no stranger to prison

He was jailed for 12 weeks for dangerous driving in 2009 after he was involved in a car crash that killed a dad of two.

He had been sending texts while driving along the motorway shortly before his Jaguar ploughed into an Audi in the road smash on Christmas Day 2007.

Father-of-two Martyn Gombar, 28, was killed.

He was sent straight to the cells from Sheffield crown court after a judge described his texting as “prolonged, deliberate, repeated and highly dangerous”, even though it was not directly linked to the accident, he had texted less than two minutes before the impact that killed Mr Gombar.

He was freed by the Court of Appeal after serving 16 days of the sentence because of “exceptional” mitigation relating to his community work or has they say down the pub, the corrupt system looks after its own.

Lord Ahmed later blamed his prison sentence on a Jewish conspiracy – causing the Labour Party to suspend him due to his controversial remarks. However, Lord Ahmed resigned from the Party before the Labour Party could carry out a full investigation.

The former Labour peer resigned from the House of Lords in November 2020 after reading the contents of a conduct committee report which found he sexually assaulted a vulnerable woman who sought his help.

Ahmed, a former member of the House of Lords, was created a life peer in 1998 on the recommendation of the then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The report made him the first peer to be recommended for expulsion but he resigned before this could be implemented.

During the trial, prosecutor Tom Little QC told the court Lord Ahmed had attempted to rape the girl in the early 1970s, when the defendant was aged 16 or 17 but she was much younger.

The attack on the boy, who was aged under 11 at the time, also happened during the same period.

Mr Little said Lord Ahmed claimed the allegations were a “malicious fiction” but a phone recording of a 2016 conversation between the two victims showed they were not “made-up or concocted”.

The woman’s call was prompted by an email from the male victim saying: “I have evidence against that paedophile,” the jury previously heard.

Sheffield Crown Court
Image caption, The Crown Prosecution Service said the three men will be sentenced at a later date

After the trial, Rosemary Ainslie, head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s special crime division, said: “By these verdicts, the jury has clearly decided that no matter the delay between the offences and the trial, and the defences raised, they could be sure that the accounts of the victims were credible and true.

“One of these defendants held a position of power, influence and responsibility for some time in the House of Lords but this case clearly illustrates that where there is sufficient evidence, even in challenging cases, the CPS will bring a prosecution, put evidence before a jury and see rightful convictions.”

Detective Constable Jo Smithson, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “This has been a lengthy and complex investigation and trial, and I would like to thank both victims for their patience and support throughout.

“Abuse of this nature stays with victims for a lifetime and every victim has a right to be heard. I am pleased we were able to present our case to a jury and that justice has been done today.

“My only hope is that this now offers some level of closure for both victims. It must have been an incredibly difficult and brave decision to come forward and speak out after so many years, and I hope it offers assurance to other victims that we do listen and we will do everything we can in our pursuit of offenders.”

The big question now is can his peerage be removed?

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