Following the verdict today (24 February 2016) that four men and two women have been convicted of child sex abuse offences, John Healey MP 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.”

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On the conviction of Karen MacGregor, John said:

“Grandparents who take on the full time care of their grandkids too often don’t get help. I’ve campaigned to see better advice and support; I’ve worked with national campaign group Grandparents Plus and backed those who set up our local support group, Kinkids.

“Karen MacGregor was one of the prime movers in setting up Kinkids, which helped many grandparents who are struggling to be parents a second-time around.

“When I was in touch with her, there was never any indication of criminal activity. However, she went on to face serious charges and I know that people who had contact with her and Kinkids were shocked and appalled, as I was. These were horrific crimes and it is right that she has been brought to justice.

“I will continue to campaign for a better deal for grandparents with care, and continue to back the local and national groups that speak up on their behalf.”