CONVICTED murderers ‘Meggy’ Khan and Tony Grant have had their appeals against their life sentences dismissed at the Court of Appeal.

The appeals by Mohammed Nisar Khan – known by the nickname Meggy - and Grant “failed in their entirety”, three Justices decided at the Court of Appeal in London.

They were both convicted of the murder of Amriz Iqbal, known as Major, on October 3, 2018, when Khan, 42, mowed down Mr Iqbal in a car in Sandford Road, Bradford Moor; Khan was also found guilty of the attempted murder of Adnan Ahmed in the same incident.

He received a life sentence with a minimum of 26 years behind bars, while Grant was jailed for a minimum of 17 years, on May 1, 2019, following a long court case.

They, along with accomplice Salman Ismail, also received 17 years for conspiracy to attempt to pervert the course of justice, with Ismail also convicted of arson.

Grant has however been granted an appeal to reduce his sentence for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and Ismail’s sentence has had six years knocked off.

At the Court of Appeal hearing on August 12, Khan appealed against his conviction, claiming Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC – then the Recorder of Bradford – was wrong to allow the ex post facto finding of weapons and face masks in Tony Grant’s BMW motor vehicle to be adduced in evidence.

He also renewed an application for leave to appeal regarding the attempted murder charge, claiming Judge Durham Hall was wrong to leave that to the jury following a defence submission of no case to answer.

He also claimed the judge erred in failing to provide any written directions or a route to verdict to the jury.

Grant appealed against his conviction, claiming the judge’s directions were “unfocussed, unspecific and ultimately inadequate on all the key issues relevant to his case”, that “the judge erred in declining to leave as a key issue to the jury that the killing could or might be viewed by them as an ‘overwhelming supervening act’, and also appealed over allowing the weapons and masks in his car to be used as evidence.

The Northern Echo:

He, and Ismail, also appealed against their sentences for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, for which both were successful.

On Grant’s claim of an ‘overwhelming supervening act’, it was claimed Khan’s decision to run over Iqbal and Ahmed was a “departure from the agreed plan” to kill the men, so he had “no criminal responsibility”.

Lord Justice Fulford and Justices Thornton and Wall said they were “unpersuaded that the judge erred in not giving an OSA direction” and threw out this appeal.

On the “unfocussed, unspecific and ultimately inadequate” summing up claims, the Justices said this appeal was “unarguable”, and Grant’s barrister Timothy Raggatt QC did not pursue it “with any enthusiasm”.

On the claim Judge Durham Hall “failed to give written directions to the jury” the Justices found that while this did happen it didn’t make the verdicts unsafe and threw that part of the appeal out too.

Khan’s “no case to answer” appeal over the attempted murder verdict was also thrown out, with the Justices saying it was “wholly open” for the jury to decide whether Khan “decided to use the car as a weapon, intending to kill the victim by hitting him with a heavy vehicle”.

The appeal against including the weapons and masks found in Grant’s car as evidence was also dismissed.

The Justices said there was “clear inference available for the jury to draw that Tony Grant drove to Mohammed Khan’s house in the BMW which contained items that would be of clear use in a street attack on one or both of the victims”, and that when the men got out of the car one man had a mask on and what looked like a crowbar which was used to attack the dying or dead Mr Iqbal.

The Northern Echo:

They added: “In any event these items formed part of the immediate background to the incident, in the sense that they potentially illuminated the preparations that had been put in place for the assault on Mr Iqbal, given that a mask and a heavy, long object were used during the assault.

“Therefore, the evidence of the discovery of the masks and the baseball bat was admissible in this trial.”

On Khan and Grant’s appeals against their convictions and Khan's applications for leave to appeal against his sentence, the Justices said they “fail in their entirety” and “therefore, are refused and the appeals dismissed”.

The appeal that Khan’s 26-year minimum term was “manifestly excessive” was also dismissed, with the Justices agreeing with Judge Durham Hall that he was the “ringleader” who had recruited “a number of willing men including Tony Grant”, and that he is a “ruthless and dangerous man” who “considered himself untouchable”, and that the events would not have happened were it not for him.

The Northern Echo:

They agreed his minimum term should be longer than Grant’s due to the attempted murder of Mr Ahmed and that Khan had intended to kill Mr Iqbal while for Grant it was just to caused serious harm, and because Khan “was at the heart of the attempted cover up”.

Khan’s appeal of his sentence was therefore dismissed.

Grant and Ismail both applied to appeal their sentences for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and in both cases the Justices agreed that the sentences handed down to both – 17 years – were “manifestly excessive”.

Grant has been granted permission to appeal and reduce his sentence for these charges to 14 years (to be served concurrently with one another and concurrently with the life sentence), while Ismail has been granted a six year reduction to his sentences to 11 years’ imprisonment, to be served concurrently.

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