Dangerous driving duo jailed over 'reckless' incident that killed grandfather

Two dangerous drivers have been jailed over the death of a much-loved 78-year-old grandfather who was knocked down and killed by a speeding BMW.

Mohammed Muqtadir had just left morning prayers when he was hit as he crossed the A12 in east London at a pelican crossing  on April 7 2016.

Judge Zoe Smith, sitting at the Old Bailey, said the respected family man who had been enjoying his retirement would have had time to have "safely" got over the crossing if those at the wheel had been driving at the speed limit instead of at "incredible speed".

Night-shift workers Stephen Richards, 43, and Glenn Donovan, 34, both of Romford, north-east London, had been going at twice the 40mph limit before the crash.

The judge spoke of how Mr Muqtadir's relatives described him as a "pious, sincere and generous man" and that his family are "devastated by his loss and inconsolable in their grief".

Mr Muqtadir son said, in statement, that "the tragic, unfathomable manner of his death has shattered my family's lives forever".

Richards, who works at a fire alarm-making company, had pleaded guilty to causing Mr Muqtadir's death by dangerous driving, but Tube points technician Donovan had denied it, although he admitted dangerous driving. The jury found Donovan not guilty of causing the pensioner's death.

Richards was sentenced to three years in prison and disqualified from driving for three and a half years while Donovan was sentenced to eight months and disqualified for two years and four months.

Donovan had been seen driving his Volkswagen Scirocco erratically, changing lanes and "tailgating" Richards' BMW on the eastbound carriageway, the Old Bailey was told.

When they reached the Redbridge roundabout, Donovan pulled out in front of Richards and swerved just before the BMW ploughed into Mr Muqtadir at a crossing, jurors heard.

Donovan was then seen to drive off at speed.

Prosecutor Sarah Przybylska had said the signal for pedestrians was red at the time, but Mr Muqtadir must have believed he had time to cross safely before the oncoming cars.

When police tracked down Donovan, he told them he had left work in Stratford, east London, at about 5.40am and did not notice anything out of the ordinary as he drove home.

Richards told jurors he did not realise he was driving so fast and denied he was racing with fire alarm engineer Richards' 3 Series BMW.

After the hearing Patrick Maguire, lawyer from Slater and Gordon, which represents the family, said: "The reckless, irresponsible and dangerous actions of the two defendants has devastated a close-knit family, shattering their lives forever.

"Mr Muqtadir was a popular, generous, humble and dedicated family man whose loss has been deeply felt by his loved ones, friends and the wider community.

"We are disappointed by today's sentences and feel that the punishments do not reflect the seriousness of these crimes that have caused so much pain."

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