Shipley man in court after road accident kills father of six

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Scene of the crash Scene of the crash

A much-loved father-of-six who wanted to donate his organs after his death has helped two other families after a tragic road accident just over a year ago.

Plasterer Norman Cowen, 50, suffered a fatal head injury when he was struck by Yasser Mughal’s speeding Ford Focus as he tried to cross Manningham Lane on his way home.

Mughal, 31, who had an unblemished character, was yesterday, given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after he admitted causing Mr Cowen’s death by careless driving.

Bradford Crown Court heard Mughal had been using a “right turn’’ lane to overtake other vehicles and was doing just under 40mph on the 30mph stretch of road when Mr Cowen tried to cross while the red man was displayed.

Prosecutor Richard Walters said Mr Cowen, who had been due to marry, may have thought Mughal’s vehicle was going to turn right.

Mr Cowen was taken to the Bradford Royal Infirmary after the collision, but his injuries were not survivable.

His mother Ann, who was in Australia visiting her daughter at the time, had to return home and gave permission for the life support machine to be switched off. In a letter to the judge she said her son wanted to be an organ donor and his kidneys had been used to help two other men with families.

Mrs Cowen said it had given her some comfort knowing his death was not in vain. She said the impact on the close-knit family had been vast and the suffering at times was unbearable.

Mughal, of Aireville Avenue, Shipley, sat with his head bowed as Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said he had killed Mr Cowen in horrific and shocking circumstances.

The judge said on crowded roads everybody had to be aware of the requirement to drive safely, within the speed limits and in accordance with the road signs. He said the right hand lane at the scene of the collision was for turning right not for drivers in a hurry to barge their way up the queue.

Judge Durham Hall pointed out that Mughal’s culpability for the collision was relatively low, but he said the harm caused was off the scale.

The judge pointed out that Mughal might only serve 50 days in jail even if he passed the six-month prison sentence immediately and he therefore decided to impose a very high level of community punishment as part of the suspended sentence order.

In addition to an activity requirement Mughal will have to do 300 hours unpaid work and he is now banned from driving for 15 months.

Mughal’s barrister Andrew Dallas said his client, who in a shocked state after the collision, was utterly remorseful. He said Mughal was “literally on his knees’’ in the days before Mr Cowen died and he would now have to live with the responsibility for the rest of his life. Mr Dallas said it was not a case were Mughal had been showing off in a flash car and he highlighted the fact that Mr Cowen was only in the road for 1.75 seconds.

‘’This awful incident occurred almost in the blinking of an eye,’’ he added.

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