A MAN who lied to police investigating a fatal car crash has been convicted of perverting the course of justice.

Following a three-day trial at Bolton Crown Court it took a jury just four hours to unanimously find Ayanle Hassan guilty of the offence.

He had been a front seat passenger in an Audi involved in a high-speed race with friends in a BMW around the streets of Bolton on September 9, 2019.

But tragedy struck when the Audi smashed into the side of the other vehicle on St Helens Road, killing 24-year-old Idiris Mohammed, a rear seat passenger in the BMW.

The Audi driver, Ahmed Haider, fled the scene and Hassan also left, taken by a friend to the Royal Bolton Hospital where he spent five days being treated for his injuries.

But the jury heard that, while in the accident and emergency department, shortly after the crash, 28-year-old Hassan was questioned by police.

He lied, claiming he had been a passenger in the BMW and alleged he did not know who the Audi driver was.

In fact Hassan was the driver's friend and it took DNA results from the Audi's airbag before Haider was identified and arrested.

He and the victim's brother, Zekeriye Mohammed, who was driving the BMW, were both jailed for their parts in the tragedy. Haider, aged 23, of Fenton Road, Birmingham admitted causing death by dangerous driving and received a 63 month prison sentence and Mohammed, 25, of Deane Road, Bolton, was jailed for 27 months after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving.

At the time of the collision Hassan, of Settle Street, Bolton, was on bail for drug dealing offences. He is now serving a prison sentence for the crimes.

Sentencing Hassan to a further six months in jail for perverting the course of justice, Judge Bernadette Baxter told him: "You knew that the driver of the Audi had fled, so when you were spoken to by police in the hospital, you told them lies, and the lies were deliberate lies.

"The purpose of those lies was to effectively throw the police off the scent from you, as an important witness, and from somebody who was able to name the driver.

"It delayed matters significantly and affected how the police treated you as a witness. It affected the speed at which they came to know who the driver was."

The judge added that cases of perverting the course of justice undermine public justice are serious offences and so must be marked with prison sentences.