Teenager who ran red lights fled crash scene leaving cab driver seriously hurt

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Three years for taxi-smash youth Three years for taxi-smash youth

An uninsured teenager seriously injured an innocent taxi driver when he drove through red lights at twice the speed limit, a court heard yesterday.

Mohammed Saghir suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis, ribs and shoulder blade when 19-year-old Zahid Iqbal rammed his taxi. Iqbal then fled the scene on foot.

Sentencing Iqbal, now 20, to three years’ youth custody, Judge Robert Bartfield said it was only by the Grace of Heaven that Mr Mohammed was alive.

He said: “Young men of good character from good families get behind the wheels of high-powered vehicles late at night and use the streets of Bradford as a racetrack to test drive the vehicles and their driving.

“Now the courts have been given the opportunity, which was long overdue, to pass appropriate sentences in these kind of cases to indicate the seriousness of what has taken place.”

Iqbal, of Boynton Street, West Bowling, Bradford, pleaded guilty to the new charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and to aggravated vehicle taking.

Prosecutor Camille Morland said Iqbal was driving a BMW car in Great Horton Road, at 1.15am on May 26 last year, at an estimated speed of 60mph in a 30mph limit. He went through a red light, at the junction of Cross Lane and Beckside Road, and hit the side of Mr Saghir’s taxi, pushing it up Great Horton Road and embedding it in a derelict building.

Miss Morland said Mr Saghir, a taxi driver in Bradford for 19 years, was in considerable distress and great pain. He was cut out of the vehicle by firefighters and taken to a major trauma unit in Leeds. Mr Saghir had a punctured lung, fractures to his ribs, a fractured right shoulder blade and several fractures to his pelvis. He was kept in hospital for more than three weeks and told he would need three or four months’ physiotherapy.

The court heard the BMW had been hired by an uncle of Iqbal’s friend, Mohammed Aqib, who had taken the car keys without his knowledge and allowed Iqbal to use them.

Miss Morland said Aqib reported the car stolen to police an hour and a half after the crash, and made a statement, but his story was not believed.

Iqbal’s solicitor advocate, Philip Ainge, said his client had made a series of errors of judgment which were out of character.

Judge Bartfield told Iqbal he could have helped at the scene, but “your only thought was for your own skin. You ran off and made every attempt to try and deflect your responsibility.”

Iqbal was disqualified from driving for four years and ordered to take an extended retest.

Aqib, 20, of Parsonage Road, West Bowling, pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He was given eight months’ youth custody suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 160 hours’ unpaid community work and pay £250 towards prosecution costs.

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