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F1 smash driver Dawes had list of eight who wanted him dead

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Christopher Dawes, the millionaire founder of Micromuse, named eight people who wanted to see him dead just months before he was killed in a sports car crash, it was revealed yesterday. An inquest heard how Dawes, who made his fortune as founder of software company Micromuse, drew up the list and gave it to his father last August. Lawrence Kershen, QC, representing Dawes' parents, argued that the deaths were not caused by the impact of the crash. Some "prior cause", such as an explosion or someone tampering with the McLaren FI, was responsible, he told the inquest at Saffron Walden, Essex. Superintendent Douglas Adams, of Essex Police, disagreed: "All the evidence that we had got from experts indicated that this was a tragedy, a road crash that occurred because of the actions of driving, nothing more." According to Adams, none of the eight people on Dawes' list had been questioned by police. An application for an adjournment from Kershen, to allow for the police to interview the eight people on Dawes' list, was refused. The Essex coroner, Malcolm Wier, ruled that Dawes and his passengers, Michael Lamb and Fiona Newman, died accidentally after Dawes lost control of his car. Outside the hearing, Dawes' sister, Belinda, said her brother made the list in the midst of allegations of insider trading occurred when Micromuse floated on Nasdaq. When the accident happened, Dawes was awaiting trial in Alderney, in the Channel Islands, following being busted for cocaine possession on Boxing Day last year. His £640,000 McLaren hit a tree in Essex at an estimated 120mph in March and exploded after splitting in two. ®

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