A woman has spoken of her family’s distress after her brother was named on a ‘malicious’ list claiming to identify child sex suspects.
The woman, who does not want to be identified, was horrified to discover her brother was one of 15 men named on a list which has been circulating on social media.
The list emerged on mobile phone chat program WhatsApp following the arrest of 30 men and two women in Huddersfield and Dewsbury last week during an investigation into historic child sex offences.
Police have since launched another inquiry into who is behind the list.
The woman, whose brother’s name was on the list, said: “It’s fake. It’s causing a lot of distress to him and his family – and it’s just rubbish.
“I’ve no idea where it’s come from and I don’t know why it’s coming round and people are editing it.
“These things bring shame on the family.
“It makes us worried that anything could happen.”
Meanwhile Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has warned that the list could lead to a miscarriage of justice for genuine victims, alleged to have suffered abuse between 2004 and 2011.
Mr Sheerman said he had contacted West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson and Chief Supt Steve Cotteer about the list.
The Labour MP was contacted by another man whose name appeared on the list.
Mr Sheerman said: “This man is very upset.
“This list seems to be for malicious purposes and if they’ve got the names wrong it could lead to miscarriages of justice.
“I hope the perpetrators can be tracked down; I believe they can be.
“Meanwhile, this could get in the way of prosecuting the guilty people.
“I am determined that these young girls that are victims get justice.”
A police spokesperson said force inquiries into the list were ongoing.
Some 32 people have been arrested and bailed in a series of raids across Huddersfield and Dewsbury last week.
Police have interviewed 120 girls regarding historic allegations of child sex abuse over a seven-year period and 16 of them have provided evidence which has led to the arrests.
The investigation, named Operation Tendersea, centres on allegations made by 16 women of sexual abuse committed against them as children, aged 11 to 18, between 2004 and 2011.