Jury out in Fake Sheikh and Dereham driver trial

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Alan Smith (left) and Mazher Mahmood, known as the "Fake Sh

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Alan Smith (left) and Mazher Mahmood, known as the "Fake Sheikh", on trial at the Old Bailey in London, where they are accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice in the case of pop star Tulisa Contostavlos. Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A jury has begun deliberating in the trial of Fake Sheikh Mazher Mahmood, who is accused of tampering with evidence in the collapsed drugs trial of pop star Tulisa Contostavlos.

The 53-year-old self-styled 'King of the Sting' and his driver, Alan Smith, 67, are charged with plotting to pervert the course of justice.

Their Old Bailey trial has heard that the pair allegedly suppressed evidence in the N-Dubz star's trial for allegedly arranging for Mahmood to be sold £800 of cocaine by one of her contacts.

In May 2013, Mahmood had set up Miss Contostavlos with an elaborate sting for the Sun on Sunday, the court has heard.

During a boozy meeting at the Metropolitan Hotel in London, the undercover reporter posed as a film producer looking to cast her in a movie alongside Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio, jurors have heard.

As Smith drove the former X Factor judge home to Hertfordshire in the early hours of the morning, she allegedly spoke about a family member who had a drugs problem.

But the driver removed reference to her disapproval of hard drugs in his draft police statement after speaking to Mahmood, the court has heard.

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In July 2014, the case against Miss Contostavlos was thrown out at Southwark Crown Court.

Mahmood, of Purley, south London, and Smith, from Dereham, Norfolk, deny wrongdoing.

The six men and six women on the jury retired to consider their verdicts just after 11am.

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