Two people accused of the murder of a Teesside dad in a hit-and-run told police they weren’t involved when arrested, as an associate took the rap for the crime.

Carl Eland, 37, died after suffering fatal injuries when he was knocked from a bike in the Homerton Road and Gribdale Road area of Middlesbrough on August 21, 2021.

He died on August 25 after never recovering from the injuries he sustained in the crash with the white Vauxhall Insignia.

Brandon Ali, of Dalwood Court, Hemlington, Middlesbrough, and Joey Matthews, of Newcomen Green, Middlesbrough, are accused of murder and attempt to cause grievous bodily harm with intent. The pair, both 21, deny the charges.

Read more: LIVE - Murder trial for Middlesbrough man Carl Eland

The Northern Echo: Carl Eland, 37, died in August last yearCarl Eland, 37, died in August last year

Teesside Crown Court heard on Friday that Matthews denied being responsible for the incident when questioned by police, saying he had ‘nothing’ to do with it and that he had been with his brother all night. 

"That account was inconsistent with the CCTV evidence of him being in the Vauxhall Insignia at various points through the previous day," prosecutor Craig Hassall told the jury.

Mobile phone records were obtained for the two defendants’ phones, and investigators used cell site analysis and CCTV footage to identify whether their mobile phone usage was consistent with them being in the car.

Ali was arrested on August 23, two days after the incident, but asked officers: “What’s this all about?”. He denied any involvement and said he’d been visiting his ex-partner, in Hemlington, the evening before. 

Ali told police he knew of Carl Eland but hadn’t seen him for several months. 

The court heard a man called Ian Maughan contacted police a week after the hit-and-run, on August 28, to say he had been driving the white car when it crashed into Carl Eland.

He said he heard a small thud, and thought he had hit the curb, but didn’t realise he had hit a cyclist.

Maughan was found to be in breach of a previous court order after making the comments, and while en route to prison, he could be heard saying he was “going to be paid £20 for taking the rap”.

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Maughan later told police that he had been paid by defendants Ali and Matthews to say he was driving the Vauxhall insignia - and that he was asked him to “take the charge”.

Rewards for his false confession in claiming responsibility included clothing from JD sports, drugs and money. However, he died before proceedings returned to court earlier this week.

In the hours after the hit-and-run incident a local man called Graham Parker noticed smoke coming from a car, which he recognised as one identified by the police in an online appeal for information. Mr Parker said he also found a petrol canister nearby and he called the fire brigade to attend to the burnt out vehicle.

The jury heard evidence from Carl Eland’s ex-partner Kassi Weir, who was also targeted in the hit-and-run, who answered questions relating to the months’ leading up Carl Eland’s death.

The trial continues.

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