Rochdale grooming: Jailed man to appeal over BNP tweet
One of nine men convicted for his part in the Rochdale child sex ring is to appeal against his conviction claiming a breach in jury confidentiality.
Adil Khan, 42, of Oswald Street, Rochdale, was jailed for eight years for conspiracy to have sex with a child and child trafficking for sex.
Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, tweeted on Thursday that seven men had been convicted.
Khan's legal team claims this showed the jury's deliberations were leaked.
His solicitor Alias Yousaf said outside court: "It is of great concern that the chairman of the British National Party appeared to have been aware of the verdicts before they were even communicated to the court.
"We are left with no option but to conclude that the confidentiality of the jury's deliberations must have been breached and we submit the proper inference should be drawn that there must have been improper communication from within the jury room to Nick Griffin and perhaps others."
Mr Griffin posted a comment on his Twitter account, two and a half days into the jury's deliberations, claiming that seven men had been convicted.
But he later backtracked when told that the jury had not officially returned any verdicts.
Investigations revealed Mr Griffin's comment to be a "100% accurate" reflection of the jury's deliberations at that time.
Eight defence lawyers called on Judge Gerald Clifton to discharge the jury, but the judge rejected this and when he sentenced the nine men he praised the jury for the "painstaking" and "fair" manner in which it had carried out its task.
"Anybody who may have doubted this jury should bear in mind the way that you have analysed the evidence and returned the verdicts, " he said.