A moment’s lack of concentration by an experienced cab driver caused the death of an 87-year-old woman in the car park of Bradford Interchange, a court heard.
Jean Taylor, of Birkenshaw, suffered head and leg injuries and died hours later at Leeds General Infirmary after she was struck by Mohammed Meharban’s Skoda Octavia private hire vehicle last August.
In a bitter irony, it was revealed the company 61-year-old Meharban worked for had a contract with Bradford Royal Infirmary and he had often driven patients to hospital, Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court was told yesterday .
Sentencing him to a 12-month community order, District Judge Susan Bouch told the defendant: “I am sure the events of this day will live with you forever.”
The court was shown a film recording of the incident, which happened shortly before 7am on Saturday, August 10. It showed Mrs Taylor getting out of a car and begin to walk towards the pavement. She is struck by Meharban’s Skoda as it sets off from a parking space nearby. He immediately stops.
Meharban, of Heidelberg Road, Manningham, Bradford, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.
Prosecutor Niall Carlin told the court: “It is evident from the video it is a lapse in concentration and a failure to be fully aware of what was happening on the right hand side of the vehicle.”
Meharban told police he looked both ways, but did not see the woman.
District Judge Bouch said the defendant had been described as looking left and right, but not looking right again before pulling out, which was the carelessness. Meharban’s solicitor, Nick Leadbeater, said his client had driven for a living for 20 years, had had a licence for 30 and had only ever had one fixed penalty ticket.
Mr Leadbeater said: “He is fully aware of the consequences of his momentary inattention. He was immediately suspended by the Council as a private hire driver. No council will grant him a private hire badge for the rest of his life given his conviction. He appreciates that pales into insignificance. It can truly be described as a tragic accident.”
Mrs Bouch said she was satisfied it had been a momentary lapse of concentration which had tragic consequences and there were no aggravating features. She said she was satisfied he was genuinely remorseful.
Meharban was given a 12-month community order, with 100 hours’ unpaid work, and banned him from driving for 12 months. He was ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £60 victims’ surcharge.