No evidence from ‘fake’ Sheffield bus crash accused

Court reports
Court reports

A man accused of staging a bus crash in Sheffield so passengers could make bogus compensation claims for false injuries has declined to give evidence in his defence.

Insurance firm boss Mohammed Gulzar, aged 31, is also accused of staging or exaggerating other collisions with employees Shoaib Nawaz and Liam Howden, both 25.

Sheffield Crown Court was told Gulzar ran insurance firm City Claims 4U on Pitsmoor Road, and used his business to make fraudulent claims to car insurance companies.

The trio are alleged to have conspired with four others to defraud insurance companies by deception - conning them out of tens of thousands of pounds.

The jury has heard that on June 16, 2011, a First Mainline bus - being driven by Adam Herbert, who has pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud - had a minor collision with a car at the junction of Scott Road and Ellesmere Road.

The service normally carried six to eight passengers, but on the day of the crash there were 30 to 40 passengers aboard – 26 of whom later made almost identical personal injury claims through Gulzar’s firm.

Gulzar’s barrister Zacaharia Miah told the jury he would not be giving evidence, and Howden also declined to take the stand.

Craig Hassall, defending Shoaib Nawaz, said he would not give evidence either but read out references describing him as ‘hard working’ ‘thoughtful’ and ‘responsible’. He added Nawaz was ‘well respected’ in his community.

Gulzar, of Osgathorpe Road, Fir Vale; Nawaz, of Earl Marshal Road, Fir Vale; and Howden, of Brinsworth Hall Road, Rotherham, all deny the allegations.

The trial continues.