Nasrin High on Nitrous Oxide Killed Friend Luqman Is Jailed for 4 Years

A motorist high on ‘hippy crack’ who crashed a high-powered car after travelling at 103 mph in a 40mph limit and tragically killed her passenger has been jailed.

Nasrin Saleh – in a ‘euphoric’ state after inhaling nitrous oxide gas – struck a brick wall surrounding a large roundabout, flipped over and the powerful VW Golf GTI she had been driving was engulfed in flames.

A brave taxi driver and another man managed to drag injured Saleh out of the wreckage but the cabbie was beaten back by flames while trying to rescue the front seat passenger Luqman Mehboob, who died as a result of his injuries.

Saleh, 26, a single mother of a six-year-old boy, was jailed for four and a half years after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. She was also banned from driving for six years and three months.

Liverpool Crown Court heard she admitted to rescuers at the scene that she and Mr Mehboob had been ‘doing balloons’ and taking turns to drive the car, which had been borrowed from one of Mr Mehboob’s cousins, despite neither being insured.

A mutual friend, who had earlier been in the car, told how Saleh was ‘having loads’ of canisters, approximately two to three boxes which each contained 15 canisters.

Judge David Aubrey, KC, told the defendant, of Wavertree, Liverpool, said Saleh had been driving ‘a powerful vehicle that you were unfamiliar with at grossly excessive speeds’.

He said: ‘It was inevitable that driving at those speeds, even with braking, that the car would collide with the wall of the roundabout.’

The judge pointed out that nitrous oxide can cause euphoria, confusion, disorientation, loss of co-ordination and even hallucinations.

The court heard a moving impact statement from the victim’s devastated mum, Fahmida Kauser, about the loss of her only child and Judge Aubrey described the 28-year-old university graduate as ‘a special person to so many and a good friend to others’.

Judge Aubrey said: ‘He had his whole life in front of him and with many a dream as to his future.’

He told Saleh, who at times dabbed at her eyes: ‘He was a charming, caring young

man and so many lives including his family, your family and you will never be the same. There remains emptiness, a massive hole in his family’s hearts.’

Arthur Gibson, prosecuting, told the court, crowded with relatives and friends of both the victim and Saleh, that the tragedy occurred at about 4.45 am on October 10, 2021 on East Prescot Road near Alder Hey children’s hospital.

The road has a 40 mph speed limit and analysis of CCTV footage from a house 470 metres from the roundabout showed the car was travelling at 103 mph as it passed by.

Mr Gibson said they encountered a ‘substantial’ roundabout with vegetation and mature trees bordered by a brick wall.

The VW Golf made a slight move to the left but struck the wall , rolled over and burst into flames.

Taxi driver Russell Cooper arrived and ran to the car with a fire extinguisher and assisted by another, managed to pull the defendant out. He carried her to some nearby grass and she told him, ‘we swapped, we were doing balloons, me baby, me friend, is he still in there?’

Mr Cooper returned to the blazing vehicle and managed to reach and get hold of Mr Mehboob’s arm but he was unresponsive and the intensity of the fire and thick black smoke forced Mr Cooper to retreat.

Saleh, who had suffered a fracture to her lower left leg and ankle, was taken to hospital.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Mehboob suffered catastrophic head and internal injuries resulting in immediate loss of consciousness and ultimately death.

Mr Gibson told how earlier that evening Saleh and two friends had gone out eating and drinking in the Rusholme area of Manchester before returning to Liverpool.

In a statement, the victim’s mother told how he unselfishly always helped others, adding: ‘His presence brought many smiles and his words were always listened to.’

Defence barrister Fusad Arshad said that Saleh, who has no previous convictions, is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the tragedy, adding: ‘There is real sorrow and remorse and there is a sincere feeling of guilt.’

Judge Aubrey praised taxi driver Mr Cooper for his bravery and he awarded him a High Sheriff’s award of £250.