Friday, 11 June 2010

Muslim leader who claimed he was kidnapped by BNP members jailed over 'pack of lies'

A Muslim community leader who claimed he was kidnapped by BNP members at knifepoint has today been jailed for perverting the course of justice.

Noor Ramjanally, 36, told police he was bungled into the back of a car by two racist men outside his flat after he started holding prayer sessions.

However, Ramjanally’s ‘pack of lies’ were exposed when he was caught out by secret CCTV cameras installed to protect him after previous claims that he was being targeted.

Footage showed that at the time of the alleged attack, the father-of-one was getting into a taxi outside his home. He was also caught on camera later at a local Homebase.

The cameras had been installed after Ramjanally claimed his home, in Loughton, Essex – where he lived with his wife and son - was firebombed and that he was sent hate mail.

More than £100,000 was spent on the investigation into his allegations which wasted more than 900 hours of police time.

He was given a two-year sentence in his absence after failing to attend Chelmsford Crown Court in Essex today.

It is believed Ramjanally has returned to his native Mauritius.

Judge Karen Walden Smith said it was impossible to say whether Ramjanally acted as he did deliberately to increase tension in the community or did it for his own vanity, or both.

She continued: ‘This allegation was a complete pack of lies.

‘These were serious allegations being made to point the finger at a political party with unsavoury views in order to accuse them of an extremely serious offence.

‘The fact was to divert precious police resources and increase tension.’

The court heard after the verdict that Ramjanally is being investigated for three other allegations.

One relates to money stolen from a mosque he was involved with, the second is over benefit fraud and the third is to do with his immigration status.

Ramjanally told Essex police he was kidnapped by BNP members on August, 24 last year and driven to Epping Forest where he claimed he was told: ‘We don't want Loughton Islamic Group in Loughton.’

However, the court was told that police had installed two secret cameras outside his home which showed him getting into a taxi at the time of the alleged attack.

Ramjanally, of Valley Hill, had denied perverting the course of justice by making a 999 call that he had been abducted and falsely imprisoned and signing a witness statement which contained false information.

Essex Chief Supt Simon Williams said: ‘We may never know the true reasons behind Ramjanally's claim that he was abducted.

‘He has done a gross disservice to the local community in Loughton by suggesting that there were people willing to commit serious crimes against minority groups.

‘Now that his claims have been exposed as being false I hope that my officers can continue with their excellent work in building contacts and confidence amongst all of the population of the Loughton area.’

Daily Mail

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