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I didn't know killer Porsche was a write-of says father.

A father who bought his son a Porsche for his 18th birthday told a court yesterday he was not aware the pounds 14,000 high performance car was an insurance write-off.

Mr Surrinder Singh Nijjer told Stafford Crown Court he bought the car for his son, Satvinder Singh Nijjer, from a cousin in Willenhall.

But he said he only discovered the true status of the vehicle after it was involved in a crash which left elderly sisters Lavinia and Winifred Carrington dead.

Mr Nijjer, who said he paid pounds 5,000 to insure the car for his teenage son, told the court: "I did not know anything of the history of the car when I bought it.

"I did not know it was an insurance write-off and no one told me. It had an MoT certificate but I did not have it looked at by a garage.

"I asked my cousin to drive it around and it took about five minutes. He drove it. It took about ten minutes to close the deal."

Satvinder Singh Nijjer (19), of Long Knowle Lane, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, has denied causing the deaths by dangerous driving of the sisters in February last year.

They died instantly from multiple injuries when the car went out of control and hit them from behind as they walked home from a shopping trip along Henwood Road, Wolverhampton.

Mr Michael Challinor, prosecuting, claimed Nijjer, only 18 at the time, was showing off to two school friends in the car and was travelling at up to 70mph.

Mr Nijjer said the personalised number plate SSN 1S was on a car he owned but it was transferred to his son's Porsche "because it was my idea".

He said the first time his son drove the car was on his 18th birthday, almost two weeks before the tragedy.

"I did not see him showing off in it. I asked him what happened but he was all shook up," he said.

Mr Challinor asked if his son had ever told him what happened, but Mr Nijjer replied: "Not really. He has not told me to this day what happened.

In a question from the jury and read in court by Judge John Warner, Mr Nijjer was asked why he chose to buy his son such a powerful car.

He told them it was because his cousin wanted to sell the vehicle. "It just went on from there," he added.

Asked by Judge Warner why he did not buy a cheaper car, Mr Nijjer replied: "We had cheaper cars."

Earlier, Satvinder Singh Nijjer, now a computer science and engineering student at Birmingham University, said he was a sixth form pupil at St Edmund's Roman Catholic School, Compton, Wolverhampton, when he was given the car.

He said he drove it to school some days but and on the day of the accident he took two schoolfriends out for a lunchtime drive.

Nijjer told Mr Roger Smith QC, defending, he was driving at about 35mph along Henwood Road before the crash.

"There was a car in front and I slowed down for a space between me and the other car to overtake," he said.

"Having got past the car, I attempted to come back in and was about to straighten out when I heard a funny noise and the back end went very quickly to the left and then to the right."

Mr Smith asked him what he could remember next and Nijjer replied: "Just sitting in the car and the windscreen was smashed and the car was stationary."

"Did you ever see the two pedestrians who died in this accident whilst you were still in the car," asked Mr Smith.

Nijjer replied: "No."

He denied a suggestion by Mr Challinor that he gave his friends a ride in the Porsche "so that you could put it through its paces".

"You don't want to admit that you went past the other car at 60 to 70mph with your foot to the floor," added Mr Challinor.

Nijjer replied: "No."

Mr Challinor told Nijjer he had been showing off to his friends and had been "taking them on a burn up round the circuit".

"The engine was screaming and you lost control then the car ploughed all the way down the pavement and on the verge and kills two women and you cannot bear to admit it was your fault," said Mr Challinor.

Nijjer replied: "I would have if it were."

The trial continues.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 26, 1998
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