Sheffield driver got phone call before smash

Sheffield Crown Court 04/07/13
Sheffield Crown Court 04/07/13

The man accused of orchestrating Sheffield’s ‘crash for cash’ scam contacted the bus driver just one minute before a staged collision, a court heard.

Telephone records revealed Mohammed Gulzar, owner of Pitsmoor firm City Claims 4 U which is at the centre of the alleged fraud, exchanged a string of phone calls and texts with Adam Herbert shortly before his single decker bus crashed into the back of a car.

Herbert has admitted deliberately driving his First Mainline double-decker into the vehicle in an organised collision which resulted in 26 passengers submitting false personal injury claims.

Gulzar, aged 31, is alleged to have overseen the incident along with his employees Liam Howden and Shoaib Nawaz, both 25.

He is also accused of making a number of false claims to insurance companies over road accidents that either never happened or were staged while at the helm of the business.

South Yorkshire Police analyst Peter Commons trawled through mobile phone records to prepare a dossier of evidence for the jury.

It showed Gulzar used three different numbers to contact co-defendants and passengers involved in the bus incident, along with several others.

Katherine Robinson, prosecuting, told jurors at Sheffield Crown Court: “There was communication in both directions between Gulzar and Herbert going through from the morning of the crash to the early afternoon.

“The last communication was a minute before the collision.”

In evidence to the court Mr Commons said messages and calls between Howden and Nawaz, had also taken place on June 17, 2011 - the date that the bus crashed at the junction of Scott Road and Ellesmere Road in Pitsmoor.

Gulzar, of Osgathorpe Road, Fir Vale; Nawaz, of Earl Marshal Road, Fir Vale; and Howden, of Brinsworth Hall Road, Rotherham; along with four others all deny conspiracy to defraud insurance companies by deception.

The trial continues.