Rotherham sex gang survivor ‘living in fear’ after rapist is offered access to her son

A victim of the Rotherham child sex gang has revealed she’s living in fear that her rapist could ‘walk through the door at any moment’ after the local council offered her attacker access to her son.

Sammy Woodhouse was drugged, abused and threatened at gunpoint by the gang before being raped by ringleader Arshid Hussain, 43, when she was just 15.

Hussain – who is serving 35 years for raping nine victims – was not named on the birth certificate of her son who resulted from the attack and had no parental responsibility.

But despite this, Rotherham Council contacted Hussain and asked if he would like to apply for access to see the child.

"I was completely shocked and mortified. I thought when I testified in court and he was sentence to 35 years I thought that was it, I can move on," Miss Woodhouse told Good Morning Britain today.

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Rotherham sex gang survivor 'living in fear' after rapist is offered access to her son

Sammy Woodhouse says she’s living in fear
(Image: ITV)

Rotherham sex gang survivor 'living in fear' after rapist is offered access to her son

She fell pregnant after being raped aged 15
(Image: ITV)

"Yet here I am within 12 months later knowing at any moment he could walk through that door."

The 33-year-old gang survivor is now campaigning for changes to be made to the law to ban rapists from seeking access to the children they father.

"This is happening all over the country and it needs to stop," she said.

"Children are being removed, being given to rapists, to murderers, for their families to have access – rape victims are having to go to support centres to share access."

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Rotherham sex gang survivor 'living in fear' after rapist is offered access to her son

Her rapist was not named on her son’s birth certificate
(Image: ITV)

Rotherham sex gang survivor 'living in fear' after rapist is offered access to her son

Arshid Hussain
(Image: Damien McFadden)

Fortunately Hussain didn’t want to apply for custody, but the council’s actions have been branded ‘perverse’ by charities and campaigners.

Nazir Afzal, former chief crown prosecutor for the North West, said: ‘They (councils) think they are doing the right thing because they are told it is important the child has access to both parents, but it is wrong.

"By following the letter of the law they are lacking judgment – they are applying a tick-box approach when it is plainly a ridiculous thing to do.

Rotherham sex gang survivor 'living in fear' after rapist is offered access to her son

Hussain was jailed for 35 years
(Image: South Yorkshire Police/PA)

"Rapists have no right to the child born of that rape."

Hussain was contacted after Miss Woodhouse agreed to allow the council to apply for her teenage son to be taken into care because of his needs.

By law, councils have to notify ‘all respondents’.

The Ministry of Justice is now believed to be investigating if the decision to reach out to her rapist was a systematic failing or individual mis-interpretation of the law.

The council said it complied with Family Court practice directions.

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