Sheffield juror wrote letters to men who abused city girl

Shakeal Rehman
Shakeal Rehman
Have your say

A Sheffield juror wrote to men involved in raping and trafficking a Sheffield girl - signing off one letter 'chin up (sexy)'.

Deborah Dean, aged 47, from Sheffield, wrote to Shakeal Rehman after he was jailed for raping a 13-year-old girl in 2014.

She was a member of a jury which convicted the paedophile and four other men involved in trafficking and abusing a vulnerable girl who ran away from Sheffield.

London's High Court heard Dean's letters contained derogatory views about her fellow jurors and claims that she fought Rehman's corner in the deliberating room.

She received a three month prison sentence suspended for a year for contempt of court.

She wrote to Rehman, who was sentenced to 12 years for trafficking and rape and Usman Ali, who was jailed for three years for sexual activity with a child.

In her letters, signed off with a kiss, she said she was sorry for the outcome of their trial.

She told the men if they needed money, a letter or a visit, she would be there for them.

In a letter to Rehman she signed off by saying 'chin up (sexy)'.

Dean was a juror in the trial of five men who were jailed for a total of 28-and-a-half years for sexually exploiting a ‘very vulnerable’ Sheffield girl.

The youngster ran away from home to Bradford in the summer of 2013 and was picked up in a car by Rehman, taken to a hotel and raped.

She was raped and abused by others during the week she was missing.

It was as the men prepared an appeal against their convictions that the letters which Dean sent came to light.

In them, she complained about the other jurors, suggesting they were 'snobbish' and had looked down on her because of her Sheffield accent.

She signed off her letters with an 'X' and identified herself as 'Dee Dee'.

When quizzed, she accepted what she had done, but claimed she did not know she was in breach of a court order by revealing what happened in the jury room.

Her barrister Craig Hassall said Dean had not done anything which affected the actual trial.

She contacted the men because she felt sorry for them and wanted to make sure they were alright, he said.

He claimed that at the time she had been very unwell, having earlier suffered a brain hemorrhage, and was on medication.

"She found her jury service more difficult than others might, given her serious medical condition,'"he said.

"She remained true to her oath throughout the trial and dissented from the majority verdict.

"'She never had any intention to disrupt the trial."

Solicitor General Robert Buckland said: "Contempt of court of this nature involves serious wrongdoing and I instigated these proceedings as it was clearly in the wider public interest to do so.

"Any action which interferes with the administration of justice is a serious breach and I hope today's judgment sends a lesson to other jurors about their responsibilities."

Dean apologised and said she was distressed and sent the letters out of misguided sympathy.