TWO MEN have been found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice after jurors in a manslaughter trial were offered bribes of £500.
Shahrear Islam-Miah and Abdilahi Ahmed were today found guilty after a trial in which they were accused of interfering with members of a jury.
Leeds Crown Court heard jury members were filmed after a fire alarm was deliberately set off in a bid to disrupt the proceedings in the case.
A third man Haroon Sharif, 21, of Hale Barn, Altringham, was found not guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by interfering with the deliberations of members of a jury.
Five other men have already pleaded guilty to the same charge.
The charges were in relation to a ‘cash for crash’ manslaughter trial held at the court in February this year.
It has been a fascinating trialJudge Tom Bayliss
Prosecutors said those involved in the conspiracy sought to get the jury to return not guilty verdicts or to disrupt the case in order to secure a retrial.
The court heard a 15-year-old girl was “recruited” by the conspirators to approach three jurors as they left the court building on Oxford Row, in Leeds city centre, and offered them £500.
The approaches took place on the afternoon in February 21 this year.
A fire alarm was deliberately activated in the court’s cafeteria the previous day, Monday February 20, so the building would be evacuated for an extended period of time.
The court heard jurors in the manslaughter trial were filmed as they stood at the rear of the building at a muster point.
Attempts to disrupt the trial were made as the jury retired to consider verdicts after hearing evidence in the trial against three defendants - Raja Zohib Hussain, Shahrear Islam-Miah and Sabir Hussain.
The men were charged with manslaughter and conspiracy to defraud in a ‘cash for crash’ incident.
The jury of eight women and four men took just over six hours to reach verdicts today after a two-week trial.
After the case, Judge Tom Bayliss said: “It has been an unusual trial because jurors having to make decisions about what has happened to fellow jurors is quite an unusual situation to be in.
“It has been a fascinating trial.”
Islam-Miah, 27, of no fixed address, and Abdilahi Ahmed, 26, of Lincoln Towers, Burmantofts, Leeds, will be sentenced on Friday.
Five other defendants to be sentenced include: Jonaade Raja Hussain, 27, of Ring Road, Beeston, Leeds; Zafarullah Ahmad, 21, of Hamilton Avenue, Leeds; Raja Zohib Hussain, 31, of no fixed address; Waqas Ahmad, of Hamilton Avenue, Leeds, and Jamie Lee Lawson, 28, of Bayswater Grove, Harehills, Leeds.