The child-sex gang which groomed, raped and abused 15 teenage girls in Rotherham cost the taxpayer more than £500,000 in legal aid, it has been revealed.

Five of the six offenders were jailed for a combined total of 102 years in February, and the collective cost of £529,000 was shelled out to pay for lawyers to defend them at Sheffield Crown Court.

Brothers Arshid, Bannaras and Basharat were sentenced after a series of women – most now in their 30s – told a jury how they were sexually, physically and emotionally abused in the South Yorkshire town when they were in their early teens.

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I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.