'I took part in cash for crash plot that killed elderly woman', Leeds man tells jury

Old Lane, Beeston (Photo: Google)
Old Lane, Beeston (Photo: Google)

A MAN told a jury how he had joined in an agreement with three other men to stage a 'cash for crash' collision which caused the death of an elderly woman.

Betty Laird, 88, suffered fatal spinal injuries when the Renault Kangoo she was a passenger in was struck on Old Lane, Beeston, Leeds, on September 10, 2014.

Muhammed Ubaidullah gave evidence at a trial today where three defendants are accused of manslaughter over the incident.

The jury has already been told how Ubaidullah, 24, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, conspiracy to commit fraud and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Sabbir Hussain, 25, Raja Hussain, 30, and Shahrear Islam-Miah, 26, are on trial at Leeds Crown Court accused of manslaughter and conspiracy to commit fraud.

Ubaidullah told the jury Sabbir Hussain had been the driver of the VW Passat which was involved in the crash and Shahrear Islam-Miah was a rear seat passenger at the time of the collision.

Ubaidullah said he had known both men since childhood. He said another man was in the front passenger seat at the time of the incident but he did not know him.

Describing his own involvement in the incident, Ubaidullah said: "I was approached by Shahrear Islam approximately one week before the collision and he discussed a car crash was to take place when they would make a claim off the insurance."

He continued: "At first I wasn't sure about it all but he made it out to be so easy and he kind of like manipulated me to think it is possible."

Ubaidullah said the vehicle containing the four men was driven around the Holbeck and Beeston area in search of a driver "making a mistake".

Ubaidullah said: "I asked the passengers and the driver 'what do we do if elderly people or children are in the car?'.

"The front passenger said 'we don't care'.'"

Mrs Laird died after suffering multiple injuries in the collision as she travelled in the Kangoo, being driven by her friend Geoff Grimshaw, 77.

Mr Grimshaw later died of causes unrelated to the collision.

Ubaidullah said he was told by Islam-Miah to jump into the driver's seat after the collision.

Ubaidullah was interviewed by police on the day of the incident and claimed that he had been the driver, blaming Mr Grimshaw for the collision. He later changed his account and said Sabbir Hussain had been the driver and caused the crash deliberately.

Raja Hussain, of Trentham Grove, Beeston, Leeds; Sabbir Hussain, of no fixed address, and Shareer Islam Miah, of George Street, Oldham, plead not guilty to manslaughter and conspiracy to commit fraud.

The trial continues.