Lord Ahmed denies child sex charges

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Lord Ahmed has appeared in court charged with historic sexual offences against two children.

The Rotherham-based peer was charged earlier this month with two counts of attempted rape and one count of indecent assault in the early 1970s.

Lord Ahmed: The Rotherham-based peer, 61, was charged earlier this month with two counts of attempted rape and one count of indecent assault.

Lord Ahmed: The Rotherham-based peer, 61, was charged earlier this month with two counts of attempted rape and one count of indecent assault.

The 61-year-old appeared at Sheffield Magistrates' Court charged under the name Nazir Ahmed, along with two of his brothers.

Mohamed Farouq, 68, of Worrygoose Lane, Rotherham, is charged with four counts of indecent assault against a boy under 14.

Mohammed Tariq, 63, of Gerard Road, Rotherham, is charged with two counts of indecent assault against a boy under 14.

The charges against Ahmed relate to two complainants - a boy and a girl - and to alleged incidents between 1971 and 1974, when he was a teenager.

The indecent assault charge relates to a "boy under 14".

Ahmed, of East Bawtry Road, Rotherham, stood in the dock with his brothers, wearing a dark suit and navy tie.

He spoke to confirm his name, date of birth, address and his nationality as British.

Ahmed entered no pleas during the 10-minute hearing but his solicitor, Haroon Shah, said he would be pleading not guilty to all the charges.

Farouq and Tariq entered not guilty pleas during Tuesday's hearing.

All three men were granted bail to appear at Sheffield Crown Court on April 16.

District Judge Tanweer Ikram said: "I'm going to bail you to appear at the Crown Court sitting at Sheffield on April 16."

Speaking outside court on behalf of Ahmed before the hearing, Mr Shah said: "He denies the allegations and he will be doing everything he can in order to prove his innocence."

Ahmed was born in Pakistan-governed Kashmir but his political roots are in Rotherham, where he grew up and still lives.

Educated locally, he joined the Labour Party at 18 and served for a decade on Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.

After studying at Sheffield Hallam University, he ran a chain of shops in his home town and became a property developer.

He was made a life peer in 1998 and made regular appearances in the media, where he was often called on to comment on issues facing British Muslims.

Ahmed resigned from the Labour Party in 2013.