A man imprisoned for 12 years for raping and making death threats to his wife has launched an appeal because he says the jury contained too many white Catholics and not enough Muslims.
The man, convicted at Ireland’s Central Criminal Court in 2016, argued the jury was too ethnically and religiously “homogenous” to be fair and insisted the jury should have been warned about potential issues surrounding race and religion, The Times reports.
Ronan Munro, the senior counsel for the defence, said that Islamophobia would mean the jury had preconceptions about how Muslims treat women and complained that the judge had not spoken about religion or the fact the man was married to the victim.
During the trial, it was alleged that the man told his wife that she was a “commodity” he could have sex with whenever he wanted because they were living together, he explained.
The jury of 11 men and one woman, including one non-white person, convicted him of raping his wife at their home in May 2014 and of threatening to cut her face and kill her.
Mr. Munro claimed he was not accusing the jury of bias but demanded the jury should have been given a tailored warning because of the “hot topic” issue around Muslims today.
He also claimed that not enough Muslims were called for jury service because of the electoral roll system, and presented academic studies purporting to show that Ireland was already awash with ‘Islamophobia’.
Mary Rose Gearty, SC, for the Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, rebuffed the claims and insisted the trial judge “rightly” refused to give a specific warning to the jury or special treatment to the case.
She also explained that no one had asked what anybody’s religion was during the case, including the non-white member of the jury. The Court of Appeal reserved judgment on whether it would consider his case.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 30, 2016
The leader of one of the Rotherham grooming gangs, Shabir Ahmed, has also used claims of ‘Islamophobia’ to challenge his rape convictions.
Mr. Ahmed lost an appeal against his possible deportation at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), claiming that his all-white jury breached his human right to a fair trial.
He claimed members of the jury passed details to racists and said his convictions were a conspiracy by police and members of the jury to “scapegoat” Muslims.