A JUDGE has ruled that the trial of a former Rotherham peer should never go ahead after prosecutors served late evidence on the defence — but the Crown Prosecution Service is taking the ruling to the Court of Appeal.
Judge Jeremy Richardson ruled yesterday at Sheffield Crown Court that the trial of ex-lord Nazir Ahmed (pictured) and his brothers, which was stopped two weeks ago, should be thrown out due to the CPS's failure to serve evidence on the defence in time.
However, the CPS announced at a hearing held today that they will take that ruling to the Court of Appeal — meaning Ahmed could still face trial in the future.
Judge Richardson had branded prosecutors as “shameful” for serving “a heap of material” on the defence during the proceedings and “sabotaging” the trial.
Ahmed had been on trial at Sheffield Crown Court accused of sexually assaulting two children in Rotherham in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Judge Richardson stopped the trial after two days of evidence had been heard and discharged the jury after the series of late disclosures by the prosecution.
He sought to permanently stay the indictment, which meant the case could not go to a re-trial, at a hearing yesterday after branding the prosecution “disgraceful” over its failure to provide all the evidence to the defence well in advance of the trial.
The judge described the situation as a “comprehensive mess” and “shameful”.
Ahmed (63), of East Bawtry Road, Rotherham, was accused of sexually assaulting a boy between 1971 and 1972 and of attempting to rape a girl between 1973 and 1974.
The former Rotherham councillor faced counts of buggery, indecent assault and two counts of attempted rape.
His brothers, Mohammed Farouq and Mohammed Tariq, were accused of assaulting the same boy, but had been ruled unfit to plead and faced a trial of the facts.
Tariq (65), of Gerard Road, Rotherham, faced two counts of indecent assault between 1968 and 1972 and Farouq (70), of Worrygoose Lane, Rotherham, faced four counts of indecent assault between 1970 and 1972.
The CPS has been contacted for comment.