Fraudster dad of X Factor finalist sent SOS text before fatal plane crash

Police and Accident Investigation at the site of the fatal plane crash near Padbury
Police and Accident Investigation at the site of the fatal plane crash near Padbury

A fraudster who died in a plane crash sent a frantic SOS text to his family moments before the aircraft plummeted.

Former city trader Muhammad Naviede, 60, who was once valued at £117 million, was jailed for nine years in 1995 for a £45 million fraud.

But he plunged to his death when his light aircraft spun ‘out of control’ and crashed in a field close to Padbury, on August 20.

Fire crews from Buckingham and Winslow rushed to the wreckage on Hedges Farm off the A413 but Naviede - the only person on board - was pronounced dead at the scene.

His daughter and X Factor finalist Raquelle Gracie, 26, was at the pre-inquest review in Beaconsfield yesterday with Naviede’s partner Tamara Feldman, 44.

Gracie, who was also the face of Lipsy in 2008, did not want to comment because the report by the Air Accident Investigation Board will not be ready until April.

Senior coroner Richard Hulett described the report as the ‘bedrock of evidence’ to decide if Naviede’s Piper Tomahawk was faulty when it came down.

He said a date is not set but an inquest with a jury is likely to take place in May.

Solicitor Jim Morris, who is representing Naviede’s family, said they need to know exactly when the crash happened, if a defect in the plane was found and when the text - which was received at 6.31pm - was actually sent.

But principal inspector of air accidents at the AAIB Rob Carter said: “The answers to those questions will have to be in writing.

“But don’t think we are sitting on our hands. We are working hard to get the report together.”

Coroner officer Geraldine Trickett said: “It appears he texted his family to say the plane was going our of control and going down.”

Gracie - who uses her mum’s maiden name - finished 5th in X Factor in 2007 with girl-group Hope after they were put together at boot camp.

After the show, the five girls toured with Westlife and Boyzone and recorded an unreleased track with Pharrell Williams.