Hundreds of prosecutions dropped over failure to disclose evidence

Safrajur Jahangir
Safrajur Jahangir

More than 900 criminal cases were dropped last year due to a failure by police or prosecutors to disclose evidence.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show a 70 per cent increase in the number of collapsed cases over the last two years, with 916 people across the country having charges against them dropped last year due to a failure to disclose evidence - up from 537 in 2014-15 and 732 the following year.

The Crown Prosecution Service said the number of dropped cases represented just 0.15 per cent of the total number of prosecutions.

A CPS spokesman said: "We are clear that there are systemic disclosure issues across the criminal justice system which will require a collective effort in order to bring about improvement.

"Getting this right is a priority, and along with the police and other criminal justice partners we are working to improve how we fulfil these vital disclosure obligations."

In July 2019, a murder trial in Sheffield collapsed - at a cost of £1 million to taxpayers - over a failure to disclose all the evidence obtained as part of the police probe into the killing,

Takeaway boss Safrajur Jahangir, aged 23, who ran The Spice Hut on Middlewood Road, was shot dead while delivering a bogus order to Scraith Wood Drive, Shirecliffe, in August 2009. He was shot at point blank range through the window of his car as he pulled up in the street to deliver an order.

Brothers Mohim, Mukid and Munaim Khan, and three other men - Mohammed Shaffique, Saul Mohsin and Jay Allen - were all accused of conspiracy to murder but were acquitted, in what the trial judge at Sheffield Crown Court branded a 'disaster for the criminal justice system', the following year.

The case collapsed when it emerged South Yorkshire Police officers had failed to disclose all the evidence to the accused men's defence teams - denying them the right to a fair trial.

Judge Justice Sweeney QC said there had been 'systemic disclosure failures on a disturbing scale'.

Detectives believe the gunman was drug addict Michael Fowler, 28, of Firth Park, who was later found dead on a bench in Longley Park, having died of a drug overdose.

They believe he was hired to kill Mr Jahangir but the murder remains unsolved.