Defence solicitor Basharat Ditta was imprisoned for three years on Friday 1st November, having been found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Ditta was found to have passed on sensitive police intelligence to his client Neil Scarborough, who was facing a conspiracy charge relating to drug smuggling. Ditta passed on sensitive information about Scarborough’s co-conspirators in an attempt to divert attention away from Scarborough. Hair analysis showed Ditta to be a user of cocaine and Scarborough was said to be his supplier. Supt Lee Halstead said the 44-year-old’s cocaine addiction had left him “hopelessly compromised”.
Scarborough later pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis, and was sentenced to fourteen years in prison. Thirty-five other men were also jailed.
Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC said:
“[Ditta] thwarted the police’s investigation as much as possible to enable them to continue in their criminal activities. Mr Ditta was not honouring his profession, but dishonouring it.”
Ditta denied any wrong-doing was convicted of the charge after trial.
“The role of the criminal solicitor is a demanding one. Those who carry out such work understandably wish to maintain a good relationship with their clients, many of whom can be demanding and at times unreasonable.
“In a highly competitive field with increasing financial pressure solicitors in this field of practice understandably wish, if they properly can, to avoid conducting cases in a way which might cause their clients to take their business elsewhere.”