Drivers jailed for killing cyclist as they raced at 80mph

Shajah Rehman

Mohammed Khan

First published in News by , T&A Reporter

Two men who caused the death of a pedal cyclist in Bradford while racing each other at 80mph in high performance cars have each been jailed for four years.

Mohammed Khan, 25, was at the wheel of a blue Audi RS3 in Canal Road at 1.45am on September 16, 2011, when he struck Vitalijs Rozenbergs, hurling him into the air and killing him almost immediately.

Shajah Rehman, 31, was driving a black Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG in the outside lane, almost alongside the Audi, in a bid to see whose car was the quickest, Bradford Crown Court was told.

Mr Rozenbergs, 22, a Latvian national, of Spring Place, Shearbridge, Bradford, was cycling across the road on his way to Leeds for a night shift.

The court heard there were no lights on his cycle and he was wearing headphones but the bike had a reflector and the road was well lit.

Khan, of Amberley Street, Bradford Moor, Bradford, and Rehman, of Rhylstone Gardens, Undercliffe, Bradford, both pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mr Rozenbergs by dangerous driving.

Khan also admitted causing death while driving uninsured.

Prosecutor Richard Clews told the court yesterday that the defendants were racing at about 80mph, twice the legal speed limit.

Khan’s Audi struck Mr Rozenbergs, throwing him 15 metres along the road, and causing him catastrophic injuries.

The Audi collided with the Mercedes, as it tried to avoid a crash, and the Mercedes hit the central reservation.

Khan stopped at the scene and waited for the emergency services to arrive. Rehman kept going but handed himself into the police the next day.

Mr Clews said CCTV images showed the powerful cars almost side by side at high speed at the time of the impact.

Khan had driven 223 miles to Bradford from Cardiff shortly before the crash at speeds averaging 85mph.

He mistakenly believed he was insured to drive the Audi on a motor traders’ policy.

In mitigation Khan’s barrister, Yunus Valli, said his client was deeply affected by what he described as a “mindless death”.

He came from a respected family and was genuinely and sincerely remorseful.

Andrew Dallas, for Rehman, said he too was very sorry and his mental health had suffered.

It was “a few moments of dangerous stupidity”, said Mr Dallas.

Rehman had been driving for ten years with a clean licence.

Judge Peter Benson said: “Racing is a seriously aggravating feature of this type of offence.”

He banned Khan and Rehman from driving for four years.

After the case, Sergeant Garry Alderson, of the Major Collision Enquiry Team at West Yorkshire Police, said: “For a few moments of thrill seeking, these two men have found themselves with a lifetime of regret, alongside a significant custodial sentence.

“Racing on West Yorkshire's roads is extremely dangerous and will not be tolerated. The consequences of which can end lives and ruin many more, as we have witnessed in this particular case.”

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