‘These are three people who had their own agendas. Each in their own way have exploited one another’

A wife agreed to pay £3,000 to a woman who had accused her husband of raping her to withdraw the allegation, a court heard.

Manchester Crown Court was told that Natasha Gadd, 31, had accused Kamram Nazir, 33, of raping her after they met at a Manchester nightclub.

Nazir’s wife, Amina Bhatti, 36, who previously split from a man who had cheated on her, became suspicious after not hearing from her husband and later found out that he had been accused of rape.

The court was told that prosecutors cannot say whether the rape allegation is true or false.

After Bhatti’s plot to pay Gadd to withdraw her allegation was discovered by police, all three were charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

However all three narrowly avoided going straight to prison for their part in the conspiracy which a judge said was akin to a ‘Shakespearean tragedy’.

A sentencing hearing heard that in July 2015 a taxi driver was called to Nazir’s property in Manchester, where he picked up Nazir and Gadd.

When Nazir got out to withdraw money from a cash machine, Gadd told the driver she had ‘no idea how she had got there’ and said ‘I don’t know how this has happened’.

She told the driver that she had woken up and found Nazir ‘on top of her’ having sex at his home.

The driver told her ‘it wasn’t right’ and said he would take her to a police station.

She then went to Longsight police station to report that she had been raped.

After being arrested, Nazir told officers that sex had been consensual.

Bhatti, who then lived in Bradford while Nazir lived in Manchester, had not heard from her husband for a number of hours.

She learned he had been arrested, but he told her he had been held for fighting at a nightclub.

Bhatti, who was pregnant with their first child together, became suspicious.

She contacted Nazir’s phone network, which provided her with a list of numbers he had called recently.

She dialled about 10 numbers before coming across Gadd’s number.

Bhatti, who now lives with her husband in Levenshulme called Gadd, who told her that Nazir had raped her.

Gadd told her that she was at Bradford Royal Infirmary, and they agreed to meet there.

There the pair agreed that Bhatti would pay Gadd £3,000, if she would drop the allegations against her husband.

Later they agreed to meet up again, this time in Bradford city centre, where Bhatti handed over £1,000 to Gadd.

The court heard Gadd became ‘angry’ when she realised she was only receiving £1,000.

Bhatti told her she would hand over the rest of the money when Nazir had received his possessions back from the police after the allegations had been dropped.

But Bhatti later said she never had any intention of paying any more money.

On another occasion, Gadd and Bhatti met at a hostel, and Gadd said she had used the £1,000 to pay off debts.

Prosecuting, Andrew Macintosh said Gadd ‘berated’ Nazir about the way he had treated her wife, and ‘professed friendship’ with her.

Gadd told Bhatti that she was homeless and needed money to get to London to see her family.

Bhatti tried to avoid Gadd, but she continue to contact her by text, phone and Whats App.

To formally retract her statement, Gadd had to go to Manchester to meet with police.

Bhatti went with her and made a recording of the journey on her phone, in which they can be hear to be ‘chatting’ and singing along to music, the court heard.

After seeing a letter confirming her retraction, Bhatti went to a cash machine and handed over another £500 to Gadd, and told her there was no more money.

Gadd said she wanted more money and said Bhatti hadn’t stuck to their deal.

Messages from Gadd to Bhatti continued, and Bhatti lied about being in hospital to try and avoid her.

Gadd was said to have become ‘unpleasant’, saying she was going to tell Bhatti’s family about what had happened and turn up at her parent’s home.

Despite Gadd’s retraction, GMP had concerns about the case and and continued investigating.

Gadd was interviewed, and claimed she had been ‘threatened’ by Nazir and Bhatti.

Bhatti was arrested later. All three of their phones were seized, which led to charges of conspiring to pervert the course of justice being brought against the trio.

They all plead guilty to the charge, Bhatti and Nazir, Harrison Avenue, Levenshulme, immediately and Gadd, of Howarth Road, Bradford shortly before her trial was due to start.

At the time of the alllegation Gadd’s marriage had broken down making her homeless, and she had recently lost her father making her ‘vulnerable’ her barrister Rebecca Young told the court.

“I would invite your honour to accept she was particularly vulnerable at that time.

“That’s perhaps the reason she found herself in the situation she did, completely alone with someone she didn’t know in a completely different town.”

“I intend to address you on the basis it was a genuine allegation although I accept your honour may not make a finding on that.

“After the event, and it was reported to police, on any view it was Amina Bhatti who instigated contact.

“She (Gadd) says when she found out he (Nazir) was married and he had a wife she felt sorry for her.

“She also didn’t realise she was expecting and the (recorded) conversations show just how desperate Amina Bhatti was when she heard of the allegations.

“Both women are clearly very distressed and both women show empathy towards each other.

“She (Gadd) was distressed at what had taken place and was distressed that Amina Bhatti may suffer because of it.

“Natasha Gadd couldn’t cope with the thought of a trial and genuinely felt sorry for her.”

“The talk of the money, suggests that is was in fact incidental to her retracting her statement rather than the main motivation for it.

“It is only when they get to the end and she had retracted her statement and Amina Bhatti backs off that she (Gadd) to her shame quite aggressive and insistent that she gets the money. She accepts that doesn’t reflect well on her, but by this time, she was desperate.”

Ms Young added Gadd didn’t realise what she was doing illegal, and amounted to perverting the course of justice and described it as a ‘self preservation mechanism.’

She said Gadd had made an eight-hour round trip overnight during the two-day hearing back to London to see her family so scared was she of being sent to prison.

Defending Bhatti, Carolyn Smith said the mum-of-three, was desperate to keep the relationship together as her previous husband had been ‘unfaithful’ and they had split.

Nicola Gatto, for Nazir, said: “These are three people who had their own agendas. Each in their own way have exploited one another but have not harmed anyone else.”

She said work has dried up for Nazir, who was a ‘well paid IT specialist’ before his conviction.

After a period of long deliberation, Judge Elizabeth Nicholls, said she had decided she could suspend the prison sentences handed down to all three but described them as ‘lucky.’

She said: “Listening to the facts of this case you could have been forgiven for thinking you’d escaped into a Shakespearean tragedy.

“All the elements are there, the wife trying to protect her husband, the plan that was doomed to fail, and the elements of lust and greed.

“But from this fiction arrives the fact of the offence of perverting the course of justice for which you all must be sentenced today.”

She told Nazir: “On July 31st you embarked on a course of action which would change the course of all three of your lives.

“Put bluntly you are the cause of this problem. The only reason you stand in the dock is because of your ridiculous conduct on that night.”

However she added he had been a ‘reluctant participant’ and had tried to stop contact and any further money being paid to Gadd by his wife.

He was handed a 14 month jail term, suspended for 18 months and he must carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Nicholls said she “could not and would not” make a judgement on the truth of the rape allegation.

She told Gadd: “Self-evidently the allegation of rape could go nowhere due to the palpable lies you told about Miss Bhatti (in her final police interview).

“Your actions could have done untold harm to genuine rape victims who have to appear before juries, but I do not sentence you on that basis.”

She was given a 20 month jail term, suspended for two years, and told she must carry 30 days of rehabilitation with the probation service.

Bhatti, who has three young children, was given a 10-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and must also do the 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

Judge Nicholls told her: “I accept your motivation was driven by jealousy and not a criminal, although the consequences of that became criminal.

“Your instinct was to protect your husband, your marriage and your (then) unborn child.”