"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Three Years for a Life

The following story pretty much sums up 'justice' in New Britain:

A car dealer who killed a 'hard working mother of three' in a hit and run was branded callous and despicable by the judge who jailed him.

Atif Faiz was driving at twice the speed limit in a road race with another car, when he knocked down Amanda Bailey on a clear, cold winter night, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Rafhan Sarwar, one of the three passengers, described his friend's 'stupid heavy driving' as 'red lining every gear', prosecutor Timothy Brennand told the court.

Mr Brennand said the Astra was six seconds behind another car, and that both were going at a 'grossly excessive speed'.

He said: 'Witnesses described the vehicles as accelerating hard. One pedestrian had to take evasive action to avoid being hit.'

The other driver of the car managed to drive in front of Faiz, and sped past Ms Bailey, 33.

But the Morrisons supermarket shop assistant - who was on maternity leave - thought it was safe to cross and was half-way over the street when Faiz bore down on her at 60mph.

She was hit on Leeds Road, Nelson, Lancashire, at 11.50pm on February 11 this year and died shortly afterwards.

Mr Brennand said: 'There's some evidence the car attempted to swerve just before the incident but whatever evasive action was taken was too little, too late.'

Faiz and his companions failed to call an ambulance or stop at the scene, he said.

Mr Brennand said that 'none of them demonstrated any humanity or compassion' and branded their flight from the scene and subsequent silence during police questioning as 'shameful'.

The court heard that passenger Mohammed Tehseen Zaman, 19, confessed to two friends that he had been involved in a hit and run.

Another one of the passengers, Mohammed Zaheer Rashid, returned to the scene to find out what the police knew.

Mr Brennand said the group were returning from Huddersfield, where they had bought a car for Mohammed Tehseen Zaman's father.

He said Ms Bailey, whose daughters are aged 11 months, three and 13, was well-liked.

Mr Brennand said: 'She was well known, well respected, a hard working mother-of-three.'

Faiz, who has a six-week old child, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

The 23-year-old, of Leeds Road, Nelson, was jailed for three years. He also received a consecutive four-month sentence for assaulting a man in July last year.

Zaman, also of Leeds Road, was sentenced to 16 months in a young offenders' institution after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Judge Beverley Lunt told Faiz: 'Any human being who could treat another so callously can only be described as despicable.'

She added: 'If you have any conscience, you should be haunted every day of your life by what you have done and the hurt you have caused.'

Mohammed Zaheer Rashid, 24, of Burns Street, and Rafhan Sarwar, 19, of Charles Street, both Nelson, who pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, were discharged by Judge Lunt.

She told them: 'You acted dishonourably in this case and will have to live with the shame and with everyone knowing you acted with no honour for the rest of your lives.'

Ms Bailey's mother, Joan Smith, 53, who is raising her daughter's children, criticised the sentence.

Speaking outside court, she said: 'Three years for a life is not justice. I'm really disgusted.

'I feel sorry for them (the defendants) because if I put myself in their position I think I'd be frightened and panic but I'd never have left the body in the road, I wouldn't do that to a dog or a cat so I wouldn't do it to a human being.'

Detective Inspector Pete Broome, from Lancashire Police's major investigation team, said: 'Faiz's actions that night led to the death of a young woman who had so much to live for.

'His actions have not only left three young children without a mother, but a mother and father without their much loved daughter.

'This case highlights the stupidity of reckless, break-neck speeding, which played a huge part in this tragic incident. The terrible consequences of this collision should serve as a strong warning to people not to do this.'

Elizabeth Reed, division crown prosecutor for Burnley, said: 'This case serves as a reminder of the terrible consequences of driving in such a reckless way that other people's lives are endangered.'

A case like this should be classed as manslaughter.

The article sums up the complete disregard this man and his accomplices had for other people's lives and restrained, safe behaviour; this was not a tragic accident, but an event which they chose to participate in and had control over, unlike the victim and her family.

A recent case which involved a drunk man throwing a glass bottle through a pub doorway, upon which it shattered a shard of glass punctured the neck of a young mother, killing her, was classed as manslaughter.

How is this case really any different?

This man didn't set out to kill, true, but his actions were so reckless it was all but inevitable that someone would get hurt.

My heart goes out to her family, who on top of their tragic loss have to suffer seeing this rash fool walk out of prison to pick up his life in just a few years, if that.

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