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Former academy principal charged with fraud

The founder and principal of a flagship free school in Bradford has been charged with fraud and other offences.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Sajid Hussain Raza has been charged with offences which relate to his involvement with the Kings Science Academy.

Raza was arrested last year following an investigation into the school, which was visited by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012.

The CPS said it had authorised West Yorkshire Police to charge him with three offences of fraud by abuse of position, three offences of false accounting, two offences of obtaining a money transfer by deception, and one offence of fraud by false representation.

Julian Briggs, reviewing lawyer at CPS Yorkshire and Humberside's complex casework unit, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service has been working closely with West Yorkshire Police in connection with this case.

"Having carefully considered all of the evidence presented to us, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge Sajid Hussain Raza (principal) with a range of offences relating to his involvement with the Kings Science Academy, Bradford, and that it is in the public interest to do so.

"Accordingly, I have authorised West Yorkshire Police to charge Sajid Hussain Raza with three offences of fraud by abuse of position, three offences of false accounting, two offences of obtaining a money transfer by deception, and one offence of fraud by false representation. He will first appear at Leeds Magistrates' Court shortly.

"This defendant has now been charged with serious criminal offences and has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

The academy was one of the first free schools to open in September 2011. It was set up by Mr Raza and praised by Mr Cameron on his visit in March 2012.

West Yorkshire Police said Raza, 42, of Spring Gardens Road, Bradford, has been released on bail and will appear at Leeds Magistrates' Court on a date yet to be fixed.

The force said the charges relate to financial matters at the school between April and August 2011.

Men from Bradford jailed for Class A drug offences

Two men from Bradford have been jailed for more than eight years for drugs offences.

Mohammed Eshan Khan Credit: West Yorkshire Police

Mohammed Eshan Khan, aged 24, of Durham Road, Girlington was jailed for five years and eight months after pleading guilty to charges of possession of heroin with intent to supply and possession of criminal property.

Matthew Wood Credit: West Yorkshire Police

Matthew Wood, aged 25, of Glenlee Road, Lidget Green, also pleaded guilty to the above charges, as well as dangerous driving. He was jailed for two years and eight months.

The court heard that Khan, who had previous convictions for drugs, was stopped in a black Ford Focus in Hawksworth, Leeds last November after making off from officers in Shipley.

Officers recovered 20 wraps of heroin from the vehicle and found Khan and Wood to be in possession of about £500 in cash. A further £1,500 was seized when officers searched Khan's home address.

Both men were sentenced today at Bradford Crown Court.


Leading film experts learn from Yorkshire's example

Yorkshire has provided a backdrop for films such as Billy Liar, Calendar Girls and The Kings Speech and a three day summit in Bradford, with its own status as UNESCO City of Film, is hoping to build on the county's reputation as a movie destination.

TV and film industry experts from around the globe have arrived in the city to learn from Yorkshire's example.

Michael Billington has more:

Distinctive dresses stolen in Bradford raid

Police have released pictures of some distinctive Asian dresses which were stolen in a burglary in Bradford.

The dresses were among a significant amount of clothing and accessories taken when thieves broke into commercial premises in Tickhill Street overnight on Wednesday, 25 February.

One of the dresses stolen in a burglary in Bradford Credit: West Yorkshire Police
One of the dresses stolen in a burglary in Bradford Credit: West Yorkshire Police

A quantity of cash and computer equipment was also stolen in the burglary, which is believed to have occurred between 8pm last Wednesday, February 25 and 11am on Thursday February 26.

"We would like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the Tickhill Street area between the times above.

"It is likely that the thieves will have used a vehicle to transport this clothing, which is distinctive and quite rare.

"We would also like to hear from anyone who is offered similar clothing or accessories for sale, possibly at a reduced price."

– Insp George Bardell, Bradford East Area Neighbourhood Team


Labour announce new Bradford west candidate

Bradford born mother of three Naz Shah has been selected as Labour's new candidate for Bradford West.

Naz Shah selected as new Labour candidate for Bradford West Credit: Twitter

Naz, who has championed women's rights across the country, is the chair of mental health charity Sharing Voices Bradford. But she is known locally as the campaigning daughter of Zoora Shah, who was jailed in 1993 for poisoning her partner Mohammed Azam after suffering domestic violence and later released early.

I am proud to have been chosen as the Labour Party's candidate for the seat in which I was born and am proud to call home.

I am someone with a track record of campaigning and working for grass roots chance and promise that if elected I will be a visible presence for Bradford West constituents."

– Naz Shah, Labour, Bradford West

Man seriously ill in hospital after Bradford flat fall

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was seriously injured falling from a flat in Bradford.

It happened in Woodview Terrace at around 8.40pm yesterday (Sunday March 1, 2015).

The 40-year-old man was taken to hospital suffering serious injuries to his head and chest. He is currently in a critical condition.

Police are treating the incident as suspicious.

We are keen to speak to a man who was seen in the area at the time. He is described as white, about 5ft 9ins tall and of slim build. He is believed to be in his late twenties or early thirties and had short blond hair.

The victim appears to have suffered life-changing injuries in this incident, so it is important we trace this man and find out his reasons for being there."

– Det Chief Insp Steve Snow, West Yorkshire Police

Labour about to choose new candidate for Bradford West

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