Birmingham & Black Country

Crash death man Wayne Smith who fled to Cyprus jailed

Wayne Smith
Image caption Smith was convicted in his absence in 2006

A man who spent six years on the run in Cyprus after killing a man in a car crash in Birmingham has been sentenced to nearly eight years in prison.

Wayne Smith, 38, of Birmingham, was convicted of a crash in Bordesley Green in which Mohammed Idrees, 22, died.

Smith, who was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court, gave himself up to police in Cyprus in October.

His girlfriend Julie Anne Skelding was sentenced to 22 months for perverting the course of justice.

Her sentence was also for breaking bail conditions.

Smith was jailed for a total of seven years and 10 months. His sentence includes 18 months for perverting the course of justice and four months for breaching bail.

The court heard that Mohammed Idrees died as a result of his injuries from the crash, which happened on the evening of 5 June 2005.

In a statement, Mr Idrees's brother Mohammed Fiaz Yusuf said he had been "the life and the soul of our family and always had a smile which warmed everyone's hearts".

Dragged by car

He added: "He was loved by everyone, not just the family, and touched many hearts through his gentle nature.

"I feel that a big part of our lives is missing and no-one has ever laughed in my family whole-heartedly since his death."

Mr Idrees was hit by one car then struck by a second, driven by Smith, and dragged for 350 yards.

Smith, from Billesley, had been arrested and charged and released on conditional bail, but fled before the conclusion of his trial, police said.

In 2006 he was convicted in his absence at Birmingham Crown Court of causing death by dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice.

Smith was one of three people due to be sentenced on 7 November 2006 before he fled the country.

He went into hiding in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus with Ms Skelding.

She also handed herself in to police in October after admitting she had given Smith a false alibi.

Sgt Dave Lawrence, who had been investigating the case, said: "This is about justice for a family who have waited seven years for this man to be sentenced for the crime he committed.

"The length of the sentence will, in no way, compensate for the loss of Mohammed but will hopefully provide some closure."

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