Taxi driver jailed for questions to juror during drug trial
A taxi driver has been jailed for nine months after quizzing a juror who was sitting on the trial of his gang-member nephew on gun charges.
Abdul Ghafar approached the jury member outside Birmingham Crown Court during a lunch break in the trial of his nephew, Kumran Ghalib, from Smethwick, who was accused of conspiring to supply firearms and ammunition when he was a member of a notorious Birmingham gang.
Ghafar, aged 47, introduced himself as the defendant’s uncle and began asking personal questions of the juror.
He wanted to know where he lived, and if he lived alone, as he protested his nephew’s innocence and spoke about details of the case, on July 19 last year.
When an officer involved in the case raised concerns, the jury was discharged and a new trial was ordered.
Ghalib faced a new trial and was eventually convicted and jailed for 12 years.
Last week, Ghafar, of Normandy Road, Perry Barr, was found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of intimidating a juror.
DC Rory Juss, of the Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: “I think the sentence imposed on Mr Ghafar sends out a strong message to anyone who might be tempted to interfere with the course of justice.
“Leave victims, witnesses and jurors well alone or go to jail.”
Ghalib, of Raglan Road, Smethwick, spent more than a year trying to evade justice by going to ground in Pakistan.
He stayed in hiding abroad while his 18 accomplices were jailed for a combined total of more than 200 years.
But in January last year the 36-year-old came back to the UK on a flight from Islamabad and was arrested.
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