Seven jailed for plot to bribe jurors in manslaughter trial

Seven men who took part in a plot to bribe jurors in a manslaughter trial have been sentenced to between two and six years in prison.

The conspiracy happened in February as two of the men were on trial for the manslaughter of 88-year-old Betty Laird, who died in car crash which was staged as part of a so-called "cash for crash" scam in Leeds.

Raja Hussain, Shahrear Islam-Miah, Jonaade Hussain, Waqas Ahmad, Zafarullah Ahmad, Abdilahi Ahmed and Jamie Lee Lawson were all jailed at Leeds Crown Court on Friday, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed.

Raja and Jonaade Hussain pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice along with Waqas and Zafarullah Ahmad and Jamie Lee Lawson. Islam Miah and Abdilahi Ahmed were found guilty of the same charge earlier this week following a trial.

Raja Hussain and Jonaade Hussain were sentenced to a further ten years in prison, each separate conviction relating to the possession of prohibited firearms and explosives, the CPS said.

In the trial in February five jurors were approached outside Leeds Crown Court and offered cash to fix their verdicts.

Judge Tom Bayliss QC heard how a 15-year-old girl who approached three of the jurors got her message wrong and offered them £500 to find the defendants guilty.

The jury in February was discharged and, in a rare move, the judge, Mr Justice Goss, came to verdicts sitting alone.

Islam-Miah, 27, of no fixed address, was jailed for six years.

Raja Hussain, 31, also of no fixed address, was jailed for five years for the conspiracy and a further 10 years for the firearms offences.

Abdilahi Ahmed, 27, of Lincoln Towers, Leeds, was jailed for four years and six months.

Jonaade Hussain, 27, of Ring Road, Leeds, was jailed for five years for the conspiracy and another 10 years for the firearms offences.

Zafarullah Ahmad, 21, of Hamilton Avenue, Leeds, was jailed for two years.

Waqas Ahmad, 26, of Hamilton Avenue, Leeds, was jailed for two years and nine months.

Jamie Lee Lawson, 28, of Bayswater Grove, Leeds, was jailed for three years and one month.

The prosecution of the 15-year-old girl was dropped after psychological testing showed she had the intellectual capacity of a child aged around eight or nine years old.

Following the trial in February, Raja Hussain was jailed for Mrs Laird's manslaughter and conspiracy to commit fraud along with two other men, Sabir Hussain and Mohammed Ubaidullah.

Islam-Miah was also jailed for conspiracy to commit fraud but cleared of the manslaughter charge.

They received sentences totalling 37 and a half years for the offences.

Julian Briggs, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This was a cynical and blatant attempt to pervert the course of justice which was foiled by the commendably swift action of the jurors who had been targeted.

"Attempts to undermine the true course of justice will be dealt with severely.

"The sentences handed down today reflects the extreme gravity of this type of offending."

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