The leader of a notorious Muslim grooming gang who preyed on girls as young as 13, has lost a bid to have his convictions overturned after arguing the jury was part of a vast anti-Muslim conspiracy.
Shabir Ahmed, 63, is currently serving 22 years for preying on vulnerable teenagers on the street of Rochdale, plying them with alcohol and drugs, as well as for 30 child rapes on a young Asian girl he treated as a “possession” for more than a decade.
However, Mr. Ahmed appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), claiming that his all-white jury was biased and passed information to far-right groups – a breach of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights which guarantees a fair trial.
He argued that because former British National Party (BNP) chief Nick Griffin posted that some defendants had been found guilty at the Liverpool Crown Court trial before verdicts had been returned, the jury could not have been impartial.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the divorced father of four also argued that the case against him had been “tailored by police to fit anti-Muslim prejudice”, putting it in breach of Article 3 of the convention which prohibits inhuman and degrading treatment.
He further claimed media coverage of the trial had breached Article 8 – his right to a private and family life – while there had also been a breach of Article 14 as he claimed he had suffered racial and religious discrimination.
However, the court promptly threw out his “wide range of other complaints” insisting that “none of the evidence before [the ECHR] demonstrated that there was substance to these claims”.
Rejecting the legal bid, the ECHR said: “If it had been proven that a juror had passed confidential information on the jury deliberations to far-right organisations, this would suggest that the juror and the jury as a whole had lacked impartiality.
“However, there was simply no proof that that had happened. There was no evidence to establish that [the jury] had been impartial.”
The case is likely to reignite a discussion about the abuse of human rights laws, which the Conservative government promised to abolish in its manifesto.
The Pakistani-born Mr. Ahmed had previously escaped being deported after arguing that to do so would breach his “human rights”.