Headingley murder trial: Jury hears how alleged killer laughed as he drove car over injured man then ordered cheesy chips from takeaway

A man on trial for murder laughed as he drove his car over his alleged victim's body as he lay prone on the pavement after being deliberately knocked down, a court heard.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 4:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 5:00 pm

Prosecutors said Mohammed Fike Butt then went to a takeaway and ordered himself a portion of cheesy chips moments after causing the fatal injuries.

Butt, 31, is on trial at Leeds Crown Court accused of murdering Jason Llanwarne on North Lane, Headingley, on September 14 last year.

Butt is also accused of attempting to murder Mr Llanwarne's friends, Dean Ward and Scott Chalders, during the same incident.

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Crime scene on North Lane, following the fatal collision on September 14, 2020.

Prosecutors claim Butt carried out the attack to teach the three men "a lesson" during a dispute over drugs.

The court was shown CCTV footage of Butt getting into his car after a fight with the men on North Lane.

Jurors were warned of the graphic nature of the footage before it was played in court.

Prosecutor Stephen Wood QC described how Butt first drove his car at Mr Chalders and Mr Ward, causing injuries to Mr Chalder's leg.

The defendant's Mazda then re-joined the carriageway before turn around, mounting the pavement again and driving at all three men.

Mr Llanwarne was struck and carried on the bonnet before falling to the floor.

Butt then turned the vehicle around and drove at the men a third time despite his windscreen being smashed.

Mr Wood said: "The footage shows, we submit, the car driving over Jason Llanwarne's body, pausing momentarily."

Mr Wood said it is the Crown's case that a wheel was deliberately driven over Mr Llanwarne while his friends were trying to pull his limp body out of the way.

He prosecutor added: "This was, you may think, a quite deliberate act on the part of the defendant."

Butt abandoned his car behind a nearby takeaway and called a taxi.

Mr Wood said: "He went into Dino's takeaway where - you may think seemingly unconcerned by what occurred - he bought himself some cheesy chips."

The incident happened shortly before 10.30pm.

Mr Wood said Llanwarne had been in contact with Butt earlier in the evening to arrange to buy drugs from him.

Jurors were told Mr Llanwarne and his two friends were drug users.

CCTV footage from the area showed Llanwarne getting into the Mazda with Butt and an unknown male.

Mr Wood said: "It seems. . .a dispute erupted while Jason was inside the car.

Moments later, Butt and the other male were captured on the footage fighting with Llanwarne in the street.

Mr Llanwarne was punched hard in the face by Butt and knocked to the floor.

Mr Ward and Mr Chalders then ran to help their friend.

Butt went to his car and drove at the men seconds later.

Mr Llanwarne suffered multiple injuries to his head and body and was declared dead at Leeds General Infirmary.

A pathologist said his death was caused by a tear to an artery in his neck.

Mr Ward gave evidence in court this afternoon, in which he described how his friend had "died in my arms".

Mr Wood asked the witness: "Did you hear the driver of the Mazda do anything or say anything?"

Mr Ward replied: "He just laughed."

The prosecutor continued: "Did you say that while the car was parked on Jason you heard this man laugh?"

Mr Ward answered: "Yes'"

During cross examination, Butt's barrister Gordon Cole QC asked Mr Ward: "The driver didn't laugh did he?"

Mr Ward replied: "He did. I will never forget it."

Butt, of Cross Flatts Avenue, Beeston, pleads not guilty to murder, two counts of attempted murder and dangerous driving.

The trial continues.