New Zealand attacks: Rotherham victim says Christchurch mosque attacks ‘not in my name’

‘Such an evil act’, says Sammy Woodhouse, after 49 killed in New Zealand

Zamira Rahim
Saturday 16 March 2019 17:29
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Christchurch mosque attacks: What we know so far

A woman who was abused by the Rotherham grooming gang has condemned the New Zea​land terror attack, after it emerged the gunman had the words “for Rotherham” written on his ammunition.

The words are believed to reference the sexual abuse of 1,400 children in the South Yorkshire town between the late 1980s and 2013.

Sammy Woodhouse, who was raped by Arshid Hussain, one of the men in the gang, and who waived her right to anonymity in an effort to help other victims of sexual abuse, said the shootings in two mosques on Friday was an “evil act” and “not done in our name”.

“My thoughts go out to all the victims killed today in New Zealand,” she said on Twitter.

“Such an evil act. As a Rotherham survivor, I would like to add a message from me and my family. This was not done in our name.”

Brenton Tarrant, the suspected gunman, shot and killed 49 people during the attack, which was carried out at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.

A picture of an ammunition clip he allegedly posted to Twitter before the attack showed the words “for Rotherham” written on it.

The message could also be seen in video footage of the shooting, which was broadcast live on Facebook.

The 28-year-old claimed to be inspired by extreme-right wing organisations and white supremacist ideology, in a “manifesto” posted online.

His reference to the Rotherham scandal was likely driven by the fact around 80 per cent of the gang suspects are of Pakistani heritage, with the remainder a mixture of white British and other races.

Posting on Twitter, Chris Read, the leader of Rotherham Council, distanced the town from the the gunman’s “sick ideology”.

“Awful news from Christchurch this morning,” he wrote, on Saturday.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected, and of course first and foremost with the Muslim community.

“All decent people will be revolted by the sickening ideology of those who seek to divide us.

“That the perpetrator of this violence apparently sought in some twisted way to use our town’s history to justify his actions makes this personal to us.”

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He added: “Rotherham has already seen far too much violence.

“Our community will continue to stand united for decency and the rule of law.”

Additional reporting by agencies

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