Mum high on laughing gas crashes car in 100mph fireball smash that killed friend

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A mum high on nitrous oxide crashed killed her passenger after crashing into a roundabout at speed.

Nasrin Saleh, 26, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday (June 5).

On March 17, she pleaded guilty to causing the death of Luqman Mehboob by dangerous driving on October 10, 2021.

Prosecuting, Arthur Gibson told the court that Saleh, of Colville Street in Wavertree, had been on a night out in Manchester on October 9, 2021.

She had been with two friends who decided to return to Liverpool at around 1.45am on October 10.

However, Saleh remained to spend time with friend Shujata Begum. Mr Begum, who was with his sister, had agreed to meet Saleh.

Shortly after 2am, Mr Begum and Saleh left to go to a corner shop. As they left the store, a Volkswagen Golf GTI pulled up. It was driven by Mr Mehboob, 28, reports the Liverpool Echo.

The car belonged to Mr Mehboob’s cousin, but he had borrowed it. The prosecution asserted that the meeting was not by chance and there had been some communication between Saleh and Mr Mehboob before his arrival.

Saleh and Mr Begum got into the car and Mr Mehboob drove them around Manchester city centre as they listened to music.

Mr Begum had said: ‘There was no cause for concern from me in relation to his driving. He didn’t appear to have been speeding or being under the influence of alcohol. He presented as sober’.

They then got onto the motorway to return to Liverpool. It was at this point that Mr Begum realised that Mr Mehboob and Saleh were both using nitrous oxide canisters.

He later told police that Saleh ‘was having loads of these, approximately two to three boxes which each contained 15 canisters’.

Mr Begum was dropped off on Upper Stanhope Street at around 4.15am to return to his own car.

Mr Begum saw the Volkswagen drive off with Mr Mehboob still behind the wheel. The car then drove away from the city centre – it was seen on CCTV from a Shell Garage on Liverpool Road, heading outbound.

At this point, the car was not seen to have been driven erratically or at excessive speed. However, at some point Saleh swapped into the driver’s seat and the car turned around to head towards Liverpool City Centre.

It is not known when or where the swap took place as Saleh answered ‘no comment’ in a police interview.

Shortly before 4.45am, a witness was driving along East Prescot Road at the 40mph speed limit. He saw the Volkswagen overtake him at high speed, which he estimated to be above 80mph.

He saw the car continue at high speed along the road as it approached the roundabout connecting East Prescot Road and Pilch Lane.

The car crashed into the roundabout, taking its front end into the air before it rolled onto its side and then roof. Around ten seconds later, it burst into flames.

A nearby dog walker said he heard the car driving quickly before what he described as ‘an almighty noise of a collision’.

A number of loud bangs followed, which he thought were gunshots. In fact, they were the remaining nitrous oxide canisters exploding in the fire.

Further police investigations found CCTV footage from a home on East Prescot Road, 470m from the roundabout. The Volkswagen was caught on camera at 103mph.

Footage taken from the nearby Aldi’s CCTV camera showed the car braking around 80m from the roundabout, but the 103mph speed would have required a 252m stopping distance.

Taxi Driver Russell Cooper arrived at the scene as the fire began. He took the fire extinguisher from his car and ran towards the Volkswagen.

He was able to drag Saleh from the wreckage but the fire intensified.

While Mr Cooper was carrying Saleh away to safety, she said: ‘We swapped, we were doing balloons, me baby, me friend, is he still in there’.

The taxi driver returned to the fire and tried to reach Mr Mehboob but he was unresponsive. Mr Cooper was forced to step back due to the strength of the fire and smoke.

In mitigation, Fuad Arshad said that Saleh ‘fully accepted that it was her actions and her actions alone that resulted in the death of Mr Mehboob.’

He added that his client acknowledged that she drove at excessive speed and that her driving ’caused a substantial risk of danger to other road users’.

He pointed to his client’s lack of previous convictions and the fact she is a mother to a six-year-old boy.

He said she had shown ‘real sorrow and remorse’ and had a ‘sincere feeling of guilt’.

He added that Saleh is ‘struggling to come to terms with her conduct’ and suffers flashbacks to the crash, which often occur in nightmares. She has also developed post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Arshad described Saleh as a ‘broken person carrying now, for the rest of her life, a heavy burden of guilt’.

Sentencing, Judge David Aubrey KC said: “Luqman Mehboob was such a special person to so many and a good friend of yours.

He had his whole life in front of him and many a dream as to his future.

‘All that came to an abrupt end in the early hours of that Sunday morning while members of his closely-knit family are anxiously making phone calls seeking to ascertain his whereabouts.’

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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