A FUGITIVE who went on the run for more than a decade and a half after being charged over a fatal road crash was slammed for “deliberately trying to escape justice”.

Omar Hassan was dramatically cleared of causing the death by dangerous driving of Hama Falih Foran Jabar, 24, on the M4 in Newport on August 21, 2004.

But the 44-year-old defendant, formerly of Commercial Road, Newport, was condemned by Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke who jailed him following his guilty plea to failing to surrender.

Hassan was arrested last Christmas when he was found by police walking on the M4 in Cardiff near Junction 33 after being a wanted man for 16 years.


The Iraqi gave them a false name and claimed he had just arrived in the UK that day before his fingerprints linked him to the case.

Prosecutor Ieuan Bennett told Cardiff Crown Court the CPS and Gwent Police had decided to abandon the death by dangerous driving proceedings.

He said they were unable to trace a key witness and revealed how the car Hassan allegedly drove – a Honda Civic – had since been destroyed.

Mr Bennett said: “The police and the CPS had a case conference and decided it was very unlikely that there was a realistic prospect of conviction.”

It was the prosecution’s case that Hassan had killed his fellow countryman Mr Jabar by allegedly "deliberately" driving a defective car on the M4 near Llanmartin.

But they decided to offer no evidence and the defendant, who had pleaded not guilty to the charge, was acquitted of causing death by dangerous driving.

Mr Bennett told the court how Hassan was arrested in August 2004 and was remanded in custody after being charged with the offence.

But he was later granted bail by a court and vanished, failing to appear before a judge on two dates a months later.

Mr Bennett added: “The police assumed he had left the country and his whereabouts are unknown.

“But there is a record of him applying for leave to remain in the UK which was made on August 25, 2006 at the Welsh Refugee Council office on High Street in Newport.”

Nigel Fryer, representing Hassan, asked the court to take into account his client’s previous clean character with no convictions recorded against him.

Judge Lloyd-Clarke told the defendant: “This was a deliberate attempt by you to delay or evade justice.

“Your actions caused substantial delay and/or interference with the administration of justice

“The offence is aggravated by the fact the prosecution had to offer no evidence in respect of a most serious allegation.

“This is a very serious offence of its type. You had to be found not guilty because the prosecution could not proceed.”

Hassan was jailed for 32 weeks for failing to surrender.