CHESHIRE, ENGLAND: A woman who caused the death of a 70-year-old motorcyclist due to her careless driving has avoided jail because she is the sole carer of four children.
Shayma Ahmed, 36, of Darras Road, Manchester, was driving a Vauxhall Astra when she collided head-on with an Indian Scout Bobber motorcycle on Manchester Road, Wilmslow, at around 9.35 pm on July 26 last year. Leonard ‘Len’ Royle, from Wilmslow, tragically died at the scene. The army veteran was described as a “kind caring man” in a tribute after his death.
Ahmed was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday, November 15. She was handed a 26-week prison sentence, but it was suspended for 18 months and she was told to complete 240 hours of unpaid work. Ahmed, who had pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving at a previous hearing, was also barred from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay £215 ($256) in fines and court costs, the Daily Mail reported.
Ahmed was reportedly traveling towards Wilmslow on Manchester Road and wanted to turn right at the Dean Row Road traffic lights. On the other hand, Royle was traveling in the opposite direction and planned to go straight ahead at the lights. Ahmed, however, failed to notice Royle despite him being clearly visible and in plain sight. She didn’t let him pass and collided head-on with his bike instead, causing fatal injuries. Several bystanders and motorists stopped at the scene to help Royle, but he succumbed to his injuries at the scene despite the best efforts of those involved.
Ahmed, a care assistant who provides help to elderly and vulnerable adults in their homes, insisted the junction was “difficult” and she didn’t see Royle until the collision. She told the court she’s a mother to four children aged eight, nine, 16, and 17, one of whom is reportedly disabled and suffers from ADHD. The perp also said she cares for her mother who is disabled and suffering from cancer. She sustained two fractured ribs due to the impact. Ahmed, who admitted to causing death by inconsiderate driving at Warrington Magistrates Court, was subsequently sentenced to 26 weeks in jail suspended for 18 months.
District Judge Jack McGarva explained that he suspended the sentence owing to the needs of Ahmed’s family. “These cases are always very difficult to deal with, as you cannot put a price on life,” he told the defendant. “There is nothing I can do that can bring Mr Royle back, as much as I want to. This was a momentary lapse, and you simply did not see the deceased. But it would have been obvious to anyone at the junction of the risk and of the need to take extreme care and that is something you did not do.” Judge McGarva added, “Mr Royle had recovered from a heart operation. He and his family must have thought they had everything to look forward to and a future but he was robbed of that. I accept you have been very upset about what happened and that you have to live with it but you can live with it — he cannot.”
Police Constable Liz Thompson, of the Serious and Complex Collision Investigation Unit, said after the sentencing, “This was a tragic but preventable collision caused by Ms Ahmed’s failure to check that the road was clear. As a result of that failure, a 70-year-old man has lost his life and a devoted wife of 40 years has lost her husband. The family of Len have had their lives totally torn apart and they will never be the same again.” She added, “Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right, and it comes with great responsibility to act within the rules laid down when you pass your test.”
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