Saturday 18, February 2012
Drivers jailed after young dad's death
RELATIVES spoke of their relief as two drivers
who had been racing each other were jailed over a young father’s death, reports Sian Davies.
Dad-of-two Daniel Lee, 21, was hit by a VW Golf as he crossed Plymouth Grove in Longsight , Manchester, on January 30 last year and died at the scene.
Kamran Khan, 24, who was driving the VW Golf and Shamir Uddin, 25, who drove an Audi A3, were said to be driving at between 50 and 75mph in a 30mph zone.
Khan (above left), of Moss Road, Stretford, was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to five years in prison and banned from driving for five years.
Uddin (above right), of Bostock Walk, Ardwick, was found guilty of dangerous driving and sentenced to nine months and banned from driving for two years.
There were cries of relief from the court public
gallery and family members could be heard sobbing as the verdicts were read
out. They later paid tribute to Daniel and spoke of their relief that justice
had been done.
Daniel’s mum, Debbie Lee, said outside Manchester Crown Court: “Daniel always had a grin on his face and could always put someone in a good mood. His kids doted on him and he’d have done anything for them.”
The court heard how Daniel had gone for a takeaway with his sister Nikita, 15, and his mother’s partner, Arfan Khan, when the collision happened. They had all spent the evening at his mum’s house, along with Daniel’s fiancée and their two babies.
Witnesses told the court that he had been chatting about how he wanted to marry his fiancée just before he died.
Uddin was driving a blue Audi A3 which had driven past Daniel a few seconds before he was hit by Mr Khan’s VW Golf.
The pair were alleged to have been driving close together at high speeds, but denied that they were trying to keep up with each other.
Nikita Lee told the court that Daniel (left) “went flying” at the point of impact with the car. Daniel’s right shoe was found on the other side of the road underlining the force of the impact.
Nikita told the jury how she ran back to her mother’s house when the accident happened. She said: “I started screaming about how Daniel’s been run over. My mum came running out in her night-gown.”
Uddin claimed that he didn’t know anything about the accident until he was arrested the next day, saying: “At no point did I see or hear of any traffic collision involving Kamran Khan.”
He claimed that he parked outside his house on Kincardine Road to wait for Mr Khan, which is close to the home of Debbie, Daniel’s mother. He denied seeing Nikita screaming and running to tell her mum about the accident or of the distressed woman running out in her night-gown, but said that he “heard a commotion”.
In relation to claims that he had taken a corner at 70mph, Mr Uddin said: “You can’t do 70mph to take that bend, it’s ridiculous. It’s absurd.”
Shamir Uddin said he had been driving safely and denied overtaking cars at speed, or weaving in and out of the traffic.
He said he spoke to Khan on the phone shortly after the accident happened, but he just said for Uddin to get off and that he would see him tomorrow. Uddin claimed Khan didn’t mention the accident.
Arfan Khan, Debbie Lee’s partner, told the court that the cars had been travelling at high speeds as they turned onto Plymouth Grove, and that neither vehicle had its indicators on.
He estimated that the Audi A3 driven by Mr Uddin was travelling at 75mph and the VW Golf following it, driven by Mr Khan, was travelling at 95mph. Both defendants claimed they weren’t doing over 40mph.
Other witnesses said that the two cars had been undertaking and overtaking cars at speeds of up to 50mph and had been travelling closely together, before taking a corner without indicating.
The court heard evidence from experts that the VW Golf could have been travelling at a speed of between 40 and 48mph at the time of the impact but reported that this was probably an underestimate.
As Kamran Khan gave evidence in court, he broke down several times saying: “I’m being punished on the inside.”
He admitted causing the accident but denied that his driving had been dangerous. Iain Johnstone, defending Khan, said that he was respected in the community and felt great remorse for what he had done.
Khan added: “Me going to prison doesn’t make a difference. This is going to stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Judge Anthony Gee said the defendants’ driving had been “without regard of the safety of others.”
He told them: “The danger you two created by driving like you did is perfectly obvious to all.”
Judge Gee also questioned the pair’s feelings of regret: “I suspect the majority of the remorse that you have is for your own positions.
“This is as clear a case of dangerous driving as you could ever come across.”
He denied a request to allow a pre-sentence report from Uddin’s defence lawyer, Stella Massey. Judge Gee said he had made up his mind that Uddin would go to jail.
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