A disgraced former police officer who sexually assaulted teenagers he was training has launched an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

Mohammed Adnan Ali, 37, was found guilty in April this year of five sexual assaults on young men and women and 15 counts of misconduct in a public office. The charges related to incidents, between 2015 and 2018, involving youngsters enrolled on Greater Manchester Police's Volunteer Police Cadet Scheme.

Known as Adz, he became police leader of Trafford cadets in 2013 after suffering post traumatic stress disorder after a serious knife injury while on duty. He was based in Stretford and the cadet unit rapidly grew to about 130 cadets, the largest group in Greater Manchester.

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But Ali used the training scheme as a 'grooming playground' and 'exploited the freedom he was given', a court was told previously.

He denied the charges he faced at a three-week trial, but was convicted by a jury sitting at Liverpool Crown Court. Ali was jailed for five years in total in June this year and has been sacked by the force.

The court heard how Ali, of Leighton Road, Old Trafford, sexually assaulted two teenage girls and a 17-year-old boy. The misconduct charges involved allegations of sexualised conversations with six other teenage boys and asking for and sending indecent images to some of them.

The Court of Appeal in London was told at a hearing on Wednesday that it is his application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence.

Ali's GMP mugshot after his sentencing

The application, said his counsel, relates to 11 of the 15 counts of misconduct in a public office. It is accepted by him, the Appeal Court judges were told, that there are no grounds for appeal in relation to the five sexual assault convictions and four of the misconduct convictions.

Arguments were put forward on his behalf at the hearing. His counsel also claimed the five-year sentence as a whole was 'manifestly excessive'.

The sexual assaults involved touching a girl cadet inappropriately while giving her a lift home and kissing another in his room while they were away at a camp. The boy had his shoulders rubbed by Ali before his genitals were touched over his clothing while they were together in an apprenticeship office.

Ali also sent hundreds of inappropriate messages per day to young people in his care as well as 'highly inappropriate' photographs, before encouraging them to be sent in return.

But his counsel at the Court of Appeal said of the misconduct charges no information was 'passed on' that would disrupt police work or police operations. There was also no element of 'financial gain', she added.

The judges reserved judgement to a later date and said parties would be informed of the outcome at a later date.

Greater Manchester Police's Chief Constable, Stephen Watson, dismissed Ali and ordered that he be barred from policing when gross misconduct was proven against him in April, 2022, before the criminal trial.

Chief Constable Watson said: "PC Ali engaged in sexual activity on police premises in an area that was periodically used by young apprentices and cadets. This was a fundamental breach of the public’s trust in police officers and inevitably brings the profession into disrepute."