Back to square one

Raja Miah nibbling a samosa 2

The vexed case of R -v- Raja Miah returns to Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court at 9.30 this morning (2nd February, 2023), in courtroom 18, for what should have been the second attempt at an opening of a two day harassment trial.

The complainant is a 40 year old lawyer from the Salford area who was granted anonymity at a plea hearing in Tameside Magistrates’ Court on 3rd February, 2022.

Bradford-born Miah (pictured above), 49, an unemployed conspiracy theorist of Stamford Street, Mossley, Tameside, denies the charge and remains on conditional court bail.

The trial date, fixed at a hearing on 17th August, 2022, has been vacated and replaced with a mention hearing at which a new date for the trial will be agreed between the court, the Crown Prosecution Service and the defendant’s legal representative.

That August date was listed for the trial, originally, but an eleventh hour application by the defendant for an adjournment was granted by the court (read more here).

Tomorrow’s hearing will bring the number of mention hearings to two, with one plea hearing, five case management hearings and two pre-trial reviews also taking up very considerable amounts of court time. Believed to be a record for a case of this type. Apart from Manchester, there have also been three hearings in Tameside, where the saga began, and one in Wigan Magistrates’ Court.

The case was transferred from Tameside to Manchester in April, 2022 (after the third hearing there) at the request of the defendant. So that a larger courtroom could be provided in order to accommodate his support group, whom self-style as ‘The Rabble’ (or Raja’s Rabble), in the public gallery.

Over the past several years, Raja Miah has provided a running, if lop-sided, commentary on his numerous criminal and civil cases via his various Recusant Nine social media platforms. He posted this update to The Rabble, in the early hours of this morning, on his Facebook page:

“I know that some of you are planning to join me at [Manchester Magistrates] Court on Thursday morning. Unfortunately, whilst I will be there for 9.30am, the earliest anything will happen is likely to be after 1pm. The barrister has been called to a hearing in the morning in Chester and my hearing won’t go ahead without him.

“It is approaching 2 years since I was arrested and 4 years since they started trying to prosecute me. I shared with you in a recent transmission, neither GMP nor the CPS have so far presented to either the Judge or my Defence team a copy of a charge sheet detailing what I am supposed to have done. Instead, the CPS have been trying to block my evidence from being seen by the Court.

“I have also spent a chunk of today putting together my defence against Dr CHAUHAN who is attempting to sue me [for defamation]. I cannot afford to pay for lawyers and am having to defend myself. Should he be successful, I risk losing my house.

“For 5 years now I’ve been at this. I gain nothing from it. I keep much of how I feel to myself as what I do share is twisted by JIM McMAHON’s attack dog NEIL WILBY [the author of this article]. I ask every one of you to look yourselves in the mirror and ask if you would endure what I have?

“I’ll update people when I get home from Court tomorrow evening. It will be via an impromptu [Recusant Nine] transmission probably around 7pm”.

Jim McMahon is MP for Oldham West and Royton – and a highly effective Shadow Cabinet Minister. There is very little contact between elected Member and journalist. They have met once (briefly at an election count in 2022), spoken twice on the phone in two and a half years – and the number of emails between them can be counted, probably, on one hand and easily on two.

The concept that a fiercely independent investigative journalist, such as Neil Wilby, is anyone’s ‘attack dog’, or the fact that an intelligent, articulate, effective elected Member, who actually writes more cogently and with a far greater audience reach and penetration than that particular journalist, needs to use one, is just another example of Miah’s very many wild, nonsensical, evidence-free conspiracy theories.

Jim McMahon posted on Twitter about the ‘attack dog’ allegation, shortly after this article was re-published:

“Certainly not. But I’m happy to be clear that you [Neil Wilby] have my respect as one of a very small handful who have stuck their necks out to call out the lies, harassment and criminality which surround this. The personal abuse and harassment you’ve faced as a result shouldn’t go unchecked”.

An article published in October, 2022, headlined ‘Journalism is not a popularity contest but this abuse is absolutely off the scale’, chronicled the horrendous and highly defamatory attacks by Raja Miah and The Rabble and can be read in full here.

Jim McMahon has suffered highly personalised abuse at least as bad, if not worse, in what Miah himself describes as ‘a vendetta’ against the MP that is now running into its fifth year.

Page last updated Thursday 2nd February, 2023 at 0945hrs

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Picture credits: Oldham Council

Right of reply: If you are mentioned in this article and disagree with it, please let me have your comments. Provided your response is not defamatory it will be added to the article.

© Neil Wilby 2015-2023. Unauthorised use, or reproduction, of the material contained in this article, without permission from the author, is strictly prohibited. Extracts from, and links to, the article (or blog) may be used, provided that credit is given to Neil Wilby Media, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

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