Killer driver should have been banned

A hit-and-run driver who sped through a red light at 60mph to kill an RAF veteran when he should have been banned from the road has been jailed for more than six years.

Ziad Hamed, 23, was driving at twice the speed limit when his silver BMW ploughed into 81-year-old Derek Raynor at a pedestrian crossing in Hammersmith, west London.

The pensioner was thrown up on to the windscreen and left lying in the road at around 9pm on March 4 last year.

He died shortly after the collision.

A black taxi driver sitting at the front of the waiting traffic described Hamed’s speed as ‘very, very fast’, adding that Mr Raynor ‘had no chance of getting out of the way’.

A delivery motorcyclist travelling the other way told police ‘the car was coming at enormous speed’ and ‘appeared to accelerate after hitting the man,’

‘His speed suggested he was determined not to be stopped,’ added the courier, Said Meerah.

Mr Raynor’s nephew, Tim Coaker, said in an impact statement that the pensioner ‘was always concerned about crossing the road at pedestrian crossings’.

‘As he became older, he became much more aware about not taking risks,’ he continued.

‘Being runover as he was, crossing at a designated place was a great shock to us all.

‘The experience of having to deal with the collision was traumatising and upsetting.’

He described his family’s ‘sense of anger’ at Hamed’s failure to stop and blasted his refusal to ‘show any remorse’ prior to a letter addressed to the judge this morning.

Hamed ditched the powerful three-litre 5 Series, which he had only bought the night before, and was spotted on CCTV being helped by friends to strip the number plates.

Attempts were also been made to scratch out the vehicle’s identification number from the chassis.

Hamed gave himself in two days later and admitted causing death by dangerous driving at the Old Bailey.

He hobbled back into the dock on crutches today (thurs) where he was jailed for six years and four months.

It emerged during the hearing that Hamed had 12 points on his licence at the time of the smash after twice failing to disclose who was driving when his car was clocked speeding in September and October 2016.

But he was not formally disqualified due to a mix up between the magistrates courts and the DVLA.

‘It is extremely regrettable that a bereaved family should have to hear this,’ Judge Nicholas Cooke QC said of members of Mr Raynor’s family sitting in the well of the court.

‘The fact is inescapable that you have a bad driving record and had the system operated properly you would have been disqualified from driving at the time you drove in this appalling fashion and killed someone.’

Hamed was handed another six points 10 days after the fatal collision for a third similar offence committed the previous October.

But despite racking up 18 points, the system again failed to work properly and Hamed still did not lose his licence.

Judge Cooke queried ‘whether this snapshot is unique, or whether it is a reflection of a wider problem that people are not being disqualified when they should be, and members of the public are at risk.’

Hamed maintains his innocence in relation to those offences.

The judge labelled him a ‘reckless and dangerous fool’ caught up in the culture of young men driving powerful cars.

He suggested shows like ‘Top Gear’ should carry a warning to like-minded drivers that hefty sentences will follow ‘to deter mindless driving at excess speed and horrific risk-taking’.

‘You weren’t rushing because you were late for work, you hadn’t had a row with your girlfriend and lost touch with reality because you were trying to get there if possible,’ said the judge.

‘They would be poor excuses, but it would be something.

‘You were driving at double the speed limit at 60mph in an area where pedestrians would be around just because you felt like it.

‘The consequence of that is that someone has died.’

The court heard the collision took place on Hammersmith Road at about 9.20pm on 4 March last year.

Hamed was driving eastbound approaching a junction where the road splits into two lanes, with the right-hand side turning into Edith Road, and the left continuing straight ahead.

‘The left-hand lane, as Mr Hamed approached, had cars in it that were stationary, stopped at a red light,’ said Adam King, prosecuting.

‘The right-hand lane was green for turning right, but not for going straight on.

‘Mr Hamed went through the right-hand lane, overtook the stationary cars and continued straight on.

‘Driving his silver BMW, he approached the junction at over 60mph.’

The car was later seen on CCTV ‘winding its way through the back streets’ after it was recovered by police at around 1am.

‘It had a badly smashed windscreen on the front passenger side that would have caused extreme poor visibility,’ added Mr King.

Hamed told police he thought the lights were green when he sped through them and did not know he had hit someone.

The court heard he has convictions for numerous offences including possessing an imitation firearm, possessing cannabis, robbery, theft, burglary and minor driving matters dating back to 2009 when he was a juvenile.

Defending, Matthew Kirk said there was ‘no good reason’ behind his excess speed.

He told the court Hamed had been working as a mechanic at the time of the collision but gave it up soon after when the ‘constant reminder’ of being surrounded by cars got to be ‘too much’ for him.

The court heard that the Palestinian-born Hamed, who has indefinite leave to remain in the UK, has remained jobless and depressed ever since.

Hamed, of Ribblesdale Avenue, Northolt, Ealing, was jailed for six years and four months.

He was also banned from driving for four years, ordered to take an extended re-test before getting back behind the wheel and ordered to forfeit the BMW.

ends

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