A JUDGE has called a Dewsbury man, jailed for his part in a grooming trial, “remarkably stupid” after he tried to smuggle drugs and phones into prison.
Fahim Iqbal, of Quarry Road, Westtown, was spotted alongside fellow defendant Naveed Akhtar, of Manningham, trying to smuggle cannabis, class C drug Subutex, miniature mobile phones and sim cards into Leeds prison.
A dock officer caught the pair committing the offences while the recent Bradford grooming trial was running in open court.
Iqbal, 28 who is serving seven years for a charge of aiding and abetting rape, and Akhtar, 44, serving 17 years for two offences of rape, both received five more months in prison.
They pleaded guilty at Bradford Crown Court to conspiracy to supply cannabis and Buprenorphine (Subutex) and to bring three miniature mobile phones, with chargers, and 10 sim cards into prison.
The court heard that the grooming trial was running on February 4 when Akhtar spent 20 minutes in the toilet behind the dock, before Iqbal – who was already serving a jail sentence for unauthorised possession of phones in prison – joined him.
A dock officer found a package, containing six Subutex tablets, two phones and chargers plus 10 sim cards, in the toilet roll dispenser. Akhtar then tried to hand an extra package to another defendant from Dewsbury, Kieran Harris, but he refused to take it and Akhtar threw it under his seat. In that package was cannabis worth £68, a mobile phone and charger, plus 10 Subutex tablets.
Judge Durham Hall said: “How on earth, Mr Iqbal, you thought you would get this back into Armley I do not know. It was remarkably stupid and very serious. It was also an appalling distraction during the trial, which had to be adjourned for the police to investigate.”