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  1. ITV Report

Former asylum seeker claims he 'had no part' in Leicester explosion

Five people were killed in the blast on Hinckley Road in February Credit: ITV News Central

A former asylum seeker has denied being involved in an insurance scam that left five people dead.

Hawkar Hassan is one of three men accused of deliberately destroying a shop of Hinckley Road to benefit from an insurance payout.

Hassan, who is accused of being the getaway driver, told a jury that he "would not do this even for my mum or dad".

He added that he was not told anything about the alleged bonus £300,000 insurance claim, and had found out about the blast on Facebook the following morning.

He told the jury he did drive co-defendant Arkan Ali away from Leicester on February 25th, but did not see the explosion, despite turning on to the same road a few minutes later.

Hawkar Hassan is one of three men accused of deliberately destroying the shop on Hinckley Road Credit: ITV News Central

Hawkar Hassan, Arkan Ali and Aram Kurd are accused of planning to destroy the shop at a meeting at Costa Coffee.

Hassan admitted that he was at Costa Coffee, but claimed he would have left if he heard "one word about it".

The three men pleaded not guilty to five counts of murder and five alternative counts of manslaughter.

They also deny conspiring with 22-year-old Victorija Ijevleva, the partner of Ali, to make money by dishonestly pursuing a claim on an "overinflated" insurance policy in respect of a fire a the shop.

Ms Ijevleva, Mary Ragoobeer, 46, her teenage sons Shane and Sean, and 18-year-old Leah Beth Reek, who was Shane's girlfriend, were all killed in the blast in February.

The trial continues.