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Mum dies in drunk-drive smash after celebrating passing paramedic exams

‘Sarah we love you forever and always’

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Sarah Giffen / Go Fund Me & Google Maps

A mum-of-two has died after driving while ‘significantly intoxicated’ following celebrations for passing her paramedic exams.

Sarah Giffen-Smith, 32, from Leyland, in Lancashire, died after getting into her Audi A1 while drunk and crashing into a tree on the night of Friday October 14th 2022. The mother of two boys drove around a right-hand bend in West Paddock where she lost control of the vehicle and drove across a grassed-area before smashing into a tree.

Fire crews had to cut the army veteran out of her car and ambulance crews rushed her to the Royal Preston Hospital. Despite surgeon’s best efforts, carrying out an operation to repair her badly damaged liver, she passed away the next day.

An inquest at Preston’s Coroner’s Court heard marks on the road and the grassed-area indicated that she had not attempted to brake after her car left the road.

Sarah Giffen / Go Fund Me

Collision Investigator PC Brendan Williams said Sarah had been wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash and an examination found there were no defects with the car, adding: “The vehicle had left the road to its offside, hit the kerb, travelled across the grass then across the junction with Jubilee Court before colliding with a tree.

“There weren’t any witnesses but there was some CCTV from a property which showed the latter stage of the collision. The vehicle had just negotiated a right-hand bend. It just appeared that the driver continued to drive right and then left the road.

“There was no attempt to return back to the carriageway and no evidence the vehicle was braking. If a vehicle is braking when it goes onto the grass, which was very soggy at the time, the wheels tend to lock before the ABS releases and you get drag marks that pull the grass up but there was no evidence that was the case.

“There was nothing that suggested anything other than driver error.”

PC Williams also said a toxicology report showed Sarah had been ‘significantly intoxicated’ at the time of the accident. Her blood alcohol reading was 228mcg, almost three times the legal limit for driving.

Assistant Coroner Kate Bisset said: “She had been celebrating passing her paramedic examinations prior to getting into her vehicle on the night in question.” In conclusion the Coroner added: “Sarah Smith died at Royal Preston Hospital from injuries sustained in a road traffic collision. She had consumed alcohol before getting into her vehicle.”

A post mortem CT scan revealed that Sarah’s liver was ‘shattered in multiple parts’ as the cause of death was given as traumatic liver injury. Sarah’s friends have set up a fundraising page where they have collected more than £6,000 to help her husband Peter pay for her funeral. 

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Pauline Evans who set up the fundraiser said: “I am raising funds on behalf of Sarah’s family. Sarah, a beautiful young mother of two boys, tragically lost her life in a car accident on 14/10/22 in Leyland.

“Please help me in raising as much as we can to give Sarah the send-off she deserves and support her two boys who are now left without a mum. Sarah was a beautiful soul and served in the army for 10 years. She was selfless, kind and a great mum.

“Anyone who knew Sarah would say she was the life and soul of the party with an amazing sense of humour and life will never be the same without her.

“Sarah we love you forever and always.”

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Man arrested after mum pushing pram stabbed and killed in broad daylight

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder

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West Yorkshire Police

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man wanted for the fatal stabbing of a woman while she was pushing her baby in a pram in Bradford.

Police have arrested a suspect, following the murder of Kulsuma Akter, 27. Akter was stabbed several times in the Westgate area of Bradford city centre on Saturday afternoon. 

The mother was rushed to hospital, where despite the best efforts of medics, she sadly succumbed to her injuries. Her baby was unharmed in the incident.

It has also emerged that suspect, Habibur Masum, was on bail for assaulting and threatening to kill her at the time of the attack.

West Yorkshire Police

Masum was conditionally bailed by Manchester Magistrates’ Court in November, despite prosecutors objecting to his release, it is understood.

Court documents show Masum, whose address was listed as Oldham, Greater Manchester, was charged with assaulting Ms Akter on November 23rd and threatening to kill her on November 24th.

Both incidents are alleged to have happened in Greater Manchester. Police had previously confirmed the couple were known to each other but have not confirmed their relationship. 

Masum attended a hearing on November, 27th 2023, where he pleaded not guilty to both offences and was ordered not to contact Ms Akter, it is understood.

West Yorkshire Police

His bail conditions also prevented him from contacting a second person, or visiting a particular address.

Greater Manchester Police has said it is supporting West Yorkshire Police with the ongoing murder investigation.

Both forces have referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog over previous contact with Masum and Ms Akter.

Detective Superintendent Jude Holmes, from GMP Oldham district, said: “We share the shock and concern that our communities feel in the wake of this tragic incident, and our thoughts are with Kulsuma Akter’s family at this truly distressing time.

“Habibur Masum is wanted by West Yorkshire Police on suspicion of murder. Due to his links to Greater Manchester, we have our specialist officers following several lines of enquiry to locate him.

“I urge members of the public to remain vigilant, and if you have any information on his whereabouts, call 999 as a matter of urgency.

“Due to previous police contact with Habibur Masum and Kulsuma Akter, Greater Manchester Police has made a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.”

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of murder. A 23-year-old man was also arrested in Cheshire on suspicion of assisting an offender.

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Hunt for murder suspect after mum pushing pram killed in broad daylight

It is not clear whether is Masum is armed as police warn not to approach him

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West Yorkshire Police

Police are searching for a man from Oldham after a mum was stabbed to death in Bradford while pushing her baby in a pram.

Habibur Masum, 25, is wanted over the attack which took place in the Westgate area of Bradford at 3.21pm on Saturday (April 6th).

The victim, a 27-year-old woman, suffered multiple stab wounds and was taken to hospital where she sadly died of her injuries, West Yorkshire Police said.

West Yorkshire Police

The force also confirmed the baby was not harmed in the attack as the public is warned not to approach Masum.

It is understood Masum was known to the victim although police have not confirmed their relationship at this time. A knife was found at the scene but it is unclear if he is armed.

Masum was pictured on CCTV wearing a grey hooded, zip-up coat with three large horizontal lines of grey, white and black on it, grey tracksuit bottoms with a black logo and burgundy trainers. 

West Yorkshire Police

A witness also reported seeing him wearing a grey hoodie with the hood up shortly after the incident on Westgate, at the junction with Drewton Road.

Masum is from Oldham and is believed to have links to Burnley and Chester. He is described as an Asian man, of slim build.

Detective Chief Inspector Stacey Atkinson said: “We have had significant resources following up a number of lines of inquiry to locate Habibur Masum but at this time his whereabouts are unknown.

“I would urge anyone who does see him not to approach him but to call 999 immediately.”

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She said the death of such a young woman in the ‘most awful circumstances’ will ‘understandably cause concern in the local community’.

Detective Chief Inspector Atkinson Added: “I would like to reassure the wider public that we are working tirelessly to investigate this horrendous crime and bring the person responsible to justice.

“To help us with this we are urging anyone who was in the area who may have dashcam footage or seen or heard something, however small it may seem, to please come forward.

“A scene remains in place which includes some road closures and I thank the public for their patience while we conduct our enquiries.”

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Man arrested in murder investigation after human torso found in Salford nature reserve

A man in his 20s is being questioned by police

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@gmpolice / X

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a human torso was found wrapped in plastic in a nature reserve in Salford.

As detectives continue to investigate the discovery of human remains found by a passerby on Thursday, April 4th, a man in his 20s from Salford was taken into custody on Saturday evening for questioning, Greater Manchester Police say.

DNA testing is being carried out to determine the identity of the victim, who is believed to be a male ‘likely to be aged older than 40’ and ‘has only been deceased for a matter of days’, officers say.

@gmpolice / X

GMP says it is conducting a thorough search of the area by utilising local officers and specialist branches including search dogs and assistance from underwater search teams, to help comb the site.

The force says although it has ‘not found anything else that is of interest to the investigation’, ‘work will not stop’ until it is certain the area has been thoroughly searched.

Chief Superintendent Tony Creely, of GMP’s Salford district, said: “The arrest we made yesterday evening is an important step for our investigation, but we must keep an open mind and a big part of this is speaking to anyone who may have crucial information.

“As we continue to work in the area, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their concern and cooperation so far, and we are mindful this is a disturbing incident for the local community, but I can assure you that since we were made aware, we’ve been pursuing every single line of enquiry to help us find out what has happened.

“I cannot stress the importance of people contacting us with information if they know anything at all. You may have information that you don’t feel is of importance, but it could be to us, please pass it on, it could be the key piece of information we need to progress this investigation.”

Anyone who thinks they may have witnessed something suspicious in the Kersal Dale area over the last few days is urged to call GMP on 101 and quoting log number 2695 of April, 4th 2024.

A dedicated portal for anyone to submit images or video footage which could help police can be found HERE.

 

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