BRADFORD: An inquest into the long-standing disappearance of Bradford car dealer Sajid Saddique has found that he was unlawfully killed – and a missing metal trunk is believed to have been used to dispose of his body. Police have confirmed that Mr Saddique’s murder remains an open investigation.
Mr Saddique has not been seen since Valentine’s Day 2007 and while his body has never been found, he was declared legally dead when an inquest was first opened in 2014, the Asian Image has reported.
Following a review of evidence, a murder inquiry was launched that same year, and three men were arrested, two on suspicion of murder and one on suspicion of assisting offenders. But none of the men were charged due to a lack of evidence.
Now Bradford Coroner’s Court heard that the father of three had been in £100,000 debt over a Lamborghini, and had attempted to borrow money from Clive Andrew Jones, a friend who was the last person to see him before his disappearance.
Mr Jones, who was one of the two men men arrested on suspicion of murder, was said in statements read to the court to have written a cheque towards the car debt, which bounced.
Text messages between the pair on the day before Mr Saddique disappeared showed an angry exchange over the bounced cheque, and arrangements being made to meet in person the following day bringing cash instead.
Detectives previously outlined that it was known Mr Saddique arrived at the Asda car park in Shipley just after 10am that day with the intention of meeting Mr Jones. But within minutes of Mr Saddique arriving, both of his mobiles were turned off.
Investigations also showed that Mr Jones’ cell phone was in the vicinity of the car park in Shipley at around the same time, indicating they did meet.
Mr Jones, who attended the hearing by video link, was asked a number of questions by assistant coroner Oliver Longstaff. These included if reports of a weapon being procured were truthful, the whereabouts of a locked tool trunk that was big enough to fit a body in and whether he knew the cheque he provided to satisfy Mr Saddique’s debt would bounce.
Mr Jones replied that he could not comment to all questions.
Assistant coroner Oliver Longstaff reiterated that the burden of proof in a coroner’s court was different to that in criminal proceedings. He could be satisfied on the balance of probabilities, he added.
He said there was no evidence of an accident having befallen Mr Saddique, and that he believed it “unlikely” that Mr Saddique had taken his own life – the badly parked car at Asda indicating he did not expect to be there very long.