M62 Ainley Top shooting trial delayed by seven more months

The trial of a car driver whose passenger was shot dead on a slip road of the M62 during a police operation has been delayed for a further seven months.

Moshin Amin, 31, was due to go on trial on April 23 this year over charges relating to the incident in which 28-year-old Mohammed Yassar Yaqub was shot dead by a police marksman.

The incident took place at Ainley Top, near junction 24 of the motorway, on January 2, 2017.Amin, previously of Broomer Street, Dewsbury, but now living at a bail address in Manchester, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and one of possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life.

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Leeds Crown Court heard the trial date has been put back until the autumn as two other men are likely to go on trial with him in relation to the incident.

Rexhino Arapaj, 26, from Thornlea Road, Crosland Moor, Huddersfield, and David Butlin, 37, of Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, have been jointly charged with conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of an offensive weapon.

The two defendants are yet to enter pleas to the charges.

Peter Moulson, QC, prosecuting, told the court that Amin's original trial starting on April 23 had been expected to last two weeks.

Mr Moulson said it was estimated that a trial would now be expected to take up to four weeks to complete if two defendants other were included in the trial.

Amin's trial had previously been put back because of delays caused by a separate investigation into the incident by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The IPCC was replaced by the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) last month.

Mr Moulson said there was "co-operation" between West Yorkshire Police and and the IOPC in the relation to the investigation.

He told the court: "Matters are at an extremely senior level between the police and the IOPC and there is harmony between the court and the two bodies."

Amin's barrister, Andrew Dallas, said his client was keen for his trial to be held as soon as possible.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier, QC, said a new trial date would be fixed by the court not before October 29, but is likely to begin on November 12 or 13.

On count one, Amin is charged "together with Yassar Yaqub" that he had in his possession a handgun less than 30 centimetres in length with intent to endanger life or to enable another to endanger life.

Count two relates to the possession of a silencer with Yassar Yaqub.

Count three relates to the possession of 11 nine-millimetre rounds with Yassar Yaqub.

An inquest into Mr Yaqub’s death was opened and adjourned at Bradford Coroner’s Court in January, 2017.

The hearing was told that Mr Yaqub, described as an office clerk, was in an Audi which was brought to a "hard stop", along with a Volkswagen Scirocco, by four unmarked police cars.

A post-mortem examination revealed he died from gunshot wounds to the chest.

Hundreds of mourners attended his funeral at the Masjid Bilal mosque in Huddersfield.