Father claims £2,000 worth of cocaine was planted in son's car after he died in high-speed Wakefield crash

The father of a young driver who died in a high-speed crash near Wakefield says £2,000 worth of cocaine was planted in his car, an inquest heard.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 2:31 pm
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 2:38 pm
Jamie Smith died in April 2018.

Jamie Smith was killed when he lost control of his powerful BMW on the road at Heath Common on the evening of April 30, 2018, amid claims he reached speeds in excess of 100 mph.

The 21-year-old was not wearing a seat belt at the time and was thrown clear of the vehicle.

The jury inquest into his death resumed at Wakefield Coroner's Court this morning.

Jamie's dad, Paul, at the scene of where Jamie died.

First to give evidence was Jamie's father, Paul Smith, who raised concerns about the handling of the case by West Yorkshire Police.

Not long after being told about the tragic news of his son's death, he says he asked an officer if Jamie was being chased by police at the time, to which he says he was told "no".

It later transpired that Jamie, of of Cross Road, Middlestown, was in fact being pursued by a marked car.

He also says that he wanted to see the video footage taken from the marked car, but says he was initially told it didn't exist, only for it to transpire that it did.

Mr Smith then told the hearing that the video shows officers carrying "illegal" searches of the car.

Wakefield's Senior Coroner, Kevin McLoughlin then asked if he was suggesting that the drugs found were planted in his car.

Mr Smith replied: "Yes".

He said that his son was brought up to know the dangers of drugs, but did admit that they had experimented with steroids.

The inquest was told that Jamie Smith, a excavator driver by trade, had been to pick up best friend, Lewis Charlesworth, from the police station at Normanton that night and the pair were heading towards Wakefield in Mr Smith's BMW 335 Coupe.

Mr Charlesworth told the inquest that they had been heading along the road and said only when Jamie saw the police car on the other side of the road and heading in the opposite direction, that he sped up.

He said he asked why Jamie was speeding up and he told him that he had two bald back tyres, inferring that he did not want to be pulled over.

Mr Charlesworth then told the inquest that he looked through the back window and saw the police car had turned around and was pursuing them at speed, although they did not have their blue lights flashing.

He admitted he was frightened at the speed they were travelling, which he estimated was at least 100 mph and told Jamie to "chill out", meaning he wanted him to slow down.

They were the last words he said to him before the car lost control, hit a kerb and flipped over. It hit bollards and a boulder before coming to rest in the road close to the old Horse and Groom pub.

Mr Charlesworth suffered only minor injuries but Jamie was thrown through the driver's side window. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.

He said there had been no conversation about drugs and said they had not belonged to him because he had been in the police station that evening where he had been searched.

The inquest continues and is expected to last five days.