A judge used a rare legal power to dismiss a jury and take the case on himself after jurors said they were offered bribes outside the courtroom.Mr Justice Goss made the nearly unprecedented decision during the trial of four men accused of killing an elderly pensioner in an alleged ‘crash for cash’ insurance scam. Driver Sabbir Hussain, 25, and alleged passengers, Raja Hussain, 30, and Shahrear Islam-Miah, 26, deny manslaughter and a second charge of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between September 1-11, 2014. A fourth man has already pleaded guilty.Betty Laird, 88 was a passenger in the car which was struck and died from her injuries.The judge said a “concerted attempt” had been made to tamper with the jury at Leeds Crown Court and he would continue to try the case alone and give verdicts on the three defendants next Monday. Three jurors in a group together were approached by a woman in the city centre and were offered £500 to return verdicts of guilty in the case.Mr Justice Goss said in view of the accumulation of evidence about jury tampering he felt it would not be right to make further inquiries of the remaining jurors. “I therefore have reached the conclusion the whole jury should be discharged in this case.”He said it was not necessary to establish who was behind the activities at this point.Discharging the jurors, the judge told them if the integrity of the jury was threatened “the whole trial system has been effectively thwarted.”“One of those jurors was upset and felt so disconcerted by what had taken place they felt unable to continue to serve in the case,” the judge said.A fourth juror had been separately approached by a man and offered the same amount to return not guilty verdicts while a fifth juror had been followed by a different man.That fifth juror believed the man was holding what appeared to be money. “The pursuit of this man was persistent and disconcerted him to such an extent he felt he could no longer remain loyal to his jury oath and I have therefore discharged him.”The judge said that had happened in the context of an earlier incident on Monday when “an unknown person deliberately activated a fire alarm in the course of this trial thereby causing the building to be evacuated.”He said while the jury were outside the crown court “when a vehicle drove past them and a person holding a recording device apparently filmed them. This was seen by a number of jurors and was discussed between a few of them.”The judge told the defendants and their counsel he felt he could continue with a fair trial for the defendants and will give the verdicts next Monday.It would be the second Crown Court case in England and Wales to be heard by a judge alone under seldom-used powers under Sections 44 and 46 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which came into force in July 2007.The first time the power was used was a case concerning four men accused of an armed robbery at Heathrow Airport in 2004, in which the judge said jury “tampering” was a “very significant” danger. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.