Disgraced solicitor gave talk to pupils at Blackburn school days before trial (From This Is Lancashire)
Disgraced solicitor gave talk to pupils at Blackburn school days before trial
9:00am Tuesday 5th November 2013 in News
A DISGRACED solicitor was invited to give an ‘inspirational talk’ to schoolchildren just days before facing a trial for perverting the course of justice.
Basharat Ditta, who was jailed on Friday for passing information to drugs dealers about investigations into them, gave the assembly to year 11 pupils at Blackburn Central High School in early October.
Ditta, who was jailed for three years, had also been dealt with by the courts for possession of cocaine.
Headteacher Diane Atkinson said no one at the school, including deputy head Majid Ditta, who is Basharat’s brother, was aware of the charges or imminent trial until the trial started, after the visit. A number of people raised concerns that Ditta had been allowed to be presented as a pillar of the community, considering the charges he was facing.
One person said: “Imagine if you were a parent of a child who came home and said that is the man who came into school to talk to us. He is the only inspirational speaker we have had....it’s a joke.”
Mrs Atkinson explained she had no idea Ditta was due to appear in court. She said: “I can confirm Mr Ditta came in to speak to students as part of a planned programme to raise aspirations, organised by the Year 11 pastoral and progress co-ordinator. I understand parents’ concerns about this, but at the time I can confirm neither my pastoral and progress co-ordinator, nor I, had any knowledge of the allegations and upcoming trial.
“If we had, we would not have considered inviting Mr Ditta to speak at the school until court proceedings had concluded and only if a not guilty verdict had been reached.”
Blackburn Central opened just over a year ago when Blakewater College, Beardwood School and Crosshill Special Educational Needs School were joined under the Building Schools for the Future project.