HUNT FOR 'COP MURDERER': I DROVE 'KILLER' EXCLUSIVE Cabbie claims he took suspect to B&B.Byline: PATRICK MULCHRONE, JEREMY ARMSTRONG and IAN IAN Interactive Affiliate Network
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A CAB driver cab·driv·er also cab driver
One who drives a taxicab for hire.
cab driver n → taxista m/f
cab driver n → told last night how he picked up suspected police killer Nathan Coleman.
Mahmood Akhtar drove Coleman, 35, to a Bradford B&B four hours after PC Ian Broadhurst, 34, was shot dead on Boxing Day.
Mahmood, 48, said: "He showed no signs of nerves."
Armed police sealed off York rail station last night after a reported sighting of the fugitive. The station later reopened after nothing was found.
And it was revealed yesterday that the suspect was linked to a secret lock-up containing equipment for manufacturing 9mm bullets.
Coleman - said to be interested in martial arts and survival techniques - took a cab from his Leeds home to Bradford hours after PC Ian Broadhurst was gunned down with a 9mm pistol. Then Mahmood picked him up.
Mahmood said: "He asked me to take him to a cheap B&B for the night.
"He told me he'd been dropped off after travelling from Selby. I explained it was more expensive because it was Boxing Day and he said 'That's fine, I've no problem with that'.
"I stopped right opposite the police station and adjusted the meter. He didn't say or do anything and just kept looking straight ahead.
"I said to him 'Look, I'll take you the right way, I don't rip people off'. He looked at me and as cool as you like said 'Don't worry'.
"He kept the collar of his jacket up and was wearing a woolly wool·ly also wool·y
adj. wool·li·er also wool·i·er, wool·li·est also wool·i·est
a. Relating to, consisting of, or covered with wool.
b. Resembling wool.
a. cap. He was very pleasant and very relaxed."
First Mahmood stopped at the Plaza B&B. Coleman got out, went in but returned when he could not find a room with an en-suite bathroom.
Mahmood said: "He was carrying a small rucksack which he left in the front of the cab when he got out.
"He told me that he wouldn't be a minute and just left the bag there while he tried to sort out a room. It struck me that was very trusting of him."
Coleman was then driven to the pounds 49 a night Park Grove Hotel The Grove Hotel is a hotel which is in a chain of the largest family-owned and run hotel group in the United Kingdom.
The centre piece of the Hotel is the Manor. Built in Elizabethan times, the hotel has seen many famous guests go through its doors from; Queen Victoria and .
Mahmood said: "He got back in the car and said 'Can you find me another B&B?' When we got to the Park Grove, he asked how much it was, was told and again asked 'Is there a shower in the bedroom?'
"He was determined to get a room with its own bathroom and once he found that, he was fine. He gave me pounds 10 [pounds 14] for a pounds 7.80 [pounds 11] fare and told me to keep the change." Mahmood did not realise he had been carrying Britain's most wanted Most Wanted may refer to:
He said: "I saw his face on TV and thought 'I know him'. When I saw him he'd shaven off his moustache and was wearing his jacket up, with the collar around his face. But I just thought 'Is that the man?'
"I called the police and told them everything I know. I'll be happy to help at an identity parade identity parade n → identificación f de acusados
identity parade n (Brit) → parade f d'identification
identity parade if they need me. I feel very strongly this man should be helping police."
Yesterday, Mahmood was visited at home by two murder squad detectives. They took a full statement, and then he carried them on the exact route he took with Coleman.
He said the well built former nightclub bouncer gave no indication of where he intended to go after being dropped at the B&B. The Park Grove was crawling with forensic teams last night. A man who answered the phone, believed to be owner Abbas Mughal, said: "We've been told not to say anything.
"We're doing all we can to help. The man didn't speak a word to us while he was here. He arrived, went in to his room and left the next morning before breakfast was served."
Police were led to Coleman's weapons factory in Leeds after a tip-off from a member of the public.
Murder hunt leader Detective Superintendent Chris Gregg said yesterday: "We discovered a bullet re-loader and component parts. We also found a quantity of ammunition, which seems to be self-made.
"It is now being examined to see if it has any connection with the bullets used in the shooting.
"If this ammunition and equipment is connected to the murder of PC Broadhurst, it clearly suggests that the person who murdered him could still be armed and have a substantial quantity of ammunition as well."
PC Broadhurst was shot dead and his colleague PC Neil Roper, 45, seriously injured at 4pm on Boxing Day in Oakwood, Leeds. PC James Banks, 26, escaped injury.
Nearly four hours later a cab took Coleman from Oakwood, where he lived, to Bank Street, Bradford where he hired Mahmood's cab.
The following evening Coleman - wearing a beige coat and carrying a grey rucksack with two white stripes - was seen in the city centre.
Two days later he was sighted again 12 miles away in the centre of Brighouse, West Yorks.
The 50 officers involved in the murder inquiry are now trawling For fishing by dragging a baited line after a boat, see .
Trawling is a method of fishing that involves actively pulling a fishing net through the water behind one or more boats, called trawlers. through hours of CCTV CCTV
CCTV closed-circuit television footage.
Mr Gregg said: "We are satisfied these sightings are of Mr Coleman.
"He may still be in West Yorkshire West Yorkshire, former metropolitan county, N central England. Created in the 1974 local government reorganization, the county largely embraced the Leeds conurbation and comprised five metropolitan districts: Calderdale, Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield, and Kirklees. staying in bed and breakfasts."
Mystery man Coleman is said to have a gambling habit and regularly frequents betting offices and casinos.
The man who killed PC Broadhurst was sitting in his car with a loaded gun just yards from a betting office when approached by police. This has raised suspicions he might have been planning an armed raid on the bookie's.
Coleman is known to have money with him but police do not know how much. No passport has been recovered.
The suspect is thought to have come to Britain in 1997, marrying lab technician Denise and living with her at Selby for a year before splitting up.
But police are desperate for more information. Checks with the FBI and Interpol have drawn a blank.
Mr Gregg said: "All we know is that he's been on his own for the last four years. When he arrived in England he went to Selby. But we don't know why Selby, or even why England.
"He's a fairly private person, who kept himself to himself. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. his ex-wife he's attracted to a lifestyle of fitness and gambling and had an interest in survival and martial arts."
Armed police sealed off York rail station last night after a reported sighting of Coleman. Hundreds of passengers were evacuated, trains halted and exits and entrances sealed off. The station was reopened three hours later.
FARE: Mahmood Akhtar who picked up suspect Picture: TONY SPENCER