A MEDICAL student from East Lancashire who was ordered to pay more than £21,000 in compensation for a wheel caps scam, has turned his life around by raising money for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Raees Usman from Haslingden has begun a gruelling ten-day series of 10km runs to try to raise £10,000 for the crisis, and so far has raised more than £5,500 through his Just Giving page.

The 25-year-old, who has spent weeks on a strict diet, going out running every day, in order to ensure he reaches his 100km target, said: “I know the Covid-19 crisis has overshadowed everything but the crisis in Yemen is truly heart-breaking.

“I hope people can find it in their hearts to support me and give whatever they can spare.”

In May last year Mr Usman appeared before the courts accused of cheating various motoring giants out of more than £84,500.

An investigation was launched by trading standards after complaints were made by eBay customers who had done business with a seller known as ‘autoshine15’.

Mr Usman admitted he had been buying hub caps from China for 60p and then selling them on for a profit.

Lancashire County Council established the amount of profit he made was £48,633.

Mr Usman was ordered to pay back £21,391 and was given a 12-month community order, including 200 hours community service and a three-month curfew.

At the time, his barrister, Marianne Alton, said he had been ‘naive’ but had come clean to the county council officers when quizzed.

In an effort to turn his life around, Mr Usman has been raising awareness about the crisis in Yemen by attending peaceful marches and posting on social media.

Some 24 million people, including 12 million children, are said to be in need of humanitarian support in the conflict-torn Middle East country, according to UNICEF.

Speaking about his conviction, Mr Usman said: “It affected me quite badly at the time.

“I have never been in trouble before in my life and genuinely thought I was doing nothing wrong.”

In September Mr Usman will be going to Liverpool University to pursue his dream of becoming a healthcare professional, which had to be put on hold due to last year’s investigation.

He added: “You can’t let something like that define you as a person.

“I’d just like to say a heartfelt thanks to all the people who’ve donated to my challenge already and to my coach, Hasan Zahid.”