Judge convicts Leeds 'cash for crash' killers

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Betty LairdImage source, West Yorkshire Police
Image caption,
Betty Laird, 88, died following the "cash for crash" collision on 10 September 2014

Three men involved in a "cash for crash" scam which killed an 88-year-old woman in Leeds have been convicted.

Mr Justice Goss returned verdicts with no jury after jurors at Leeds Crown Court reported they were offered bribes.

Betty Laird died after the collision in September 2014.

Sabir Hussain, Raja Hussain and Shahrear Islam Miah were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud.

The Hussains were also convicted of manslaughter. Mr Miah was cleared of the charge.

Mr Justice Goss said there was a "concerted attempt" to tamper with the jury.

"Approaches [were] made to five [jurors] after they left court on Tuesday by at least two different people, one female and one or two males, to reach certain verdicts."

Mrs Laird died after the car she was in was in collision with a Volkswagen Passat on Old Lane in Beeston in September 2014.

'Unlawful act'

One of the Passat's passengers, Mohammed Ubaidullah, later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and conspiracy to commit fraud.

He told police the collision was not a genuine accident but part of a deliberate "cash for crash" scheme and said Sabir Hussain was the driver.

Sabir and Raja Hussain, who did not give evidence in the trial, said they were innocent passengers in the car, the collision was an accident and denied involvement in an insurance scam.

Mr Justice Goss said: "There was a conspiracy to stage a crash for cash with a view to making fraudulent insurance claims."

He added that he could not be sure, on evidence, that Miah was in the car at the time of the collision and found him not guilty of manslaughter.

Ubaidullah, 29, of Ashton-under-Lyne, Sabir Hussain, 25, of Beeston, Leeds, Raja Hussain, 31, of Beeston, and Miah, 26, of Chadderton, Oldham, will be sentenced on Tuesday.