Man guilty of killing Peterborough student outside university
An 'arrogant' speeding BMW driver has been jailed for five years and three months for mowing down a Peterborough student as she crossed the road outside her university campus.
Farid Reza, 36, was “showing off” with five children in his car and was going at more than twice the 30mph speed limit when he killed 21-year-old Hina Shamim - formally of Gladstone Street - on March 31 2015.
Shopkeeper and father-of three Reza was found guilty of causing the death of the Kingston University sports science undergraduate by dangerous driving.
Student William Spicer, 28, who was also speeding in a BMW behind him, was convicted of the lesser offence of careless driving following an Old Bailey trial.
Reza was also convicted of injuring one of the children who was in his car when it collided with Ms Shamim and veered into a double-decker bus in Kingston-upon-Thames, south-west London.
The young child, who cannot be identified, suffered a fractured skull, jaw and collarbone.
Following the verdict, the victim’s father Shamim Khan spoke of the family’s grief and devastation.
He described his daughter as a “delightful child” who grew up to be a “compassionate and selfless woman” with a promising career ahead of her.
He criticised both drivers’ “arrogance” and said their lies over what happened had compounded and prolonged his grief.
He said: “I ask them, what gives you the right to put so many people’s lives in danger through your driving?
“Such unbelievable arrogance.”
Spicer was fined £1,000 plus £500 costs and handed nine penalty points.
The court heard that Reza’s business had been boycotted and he had been subjected to abuse and threats following the crash.
Sentencing, Judge Richard Marks QC told Reza: “The reason why this terrible tragedy occurred is because you were travelling at a grossly excessive speed.”
He rejected Reza’s claim that he was trying to get away from Spicer who he feared was going to attack him for cutting him up on the road.
The judge said: “I’m entirely satisfied the truth of the matter is this vehicle, a high performance car, is a vehicle that you liked driving fast.
“I am satisfied not that you were racing but you were showing off in the manner in which you drove.”
The judge disqualified Reza from driving for five years.
Prosecutor Deanna Heer told the court that Reza was behind the wheel of a white BMW which was racing ahead of a dark grey BMW driven by Spicer with three university friends.
Both are “high-performance” cars capable of going from 0-60mph in less than six seconds with top speeds of 155mph, she said.
Ms Shamim, who lived nearby, was on her way to the university library when the defendants sped down the road, heading towards Surbiton, jurors were told.
The cars, which were going at about 69mph in 30mph Penryhn Road, were identified in CCTV footage jumping a red light along the route before the crash, the court heard.
Hina went over the bonnet of Reza’s car, banging her head on the windscreen.
Spicer, also a Kingston University student, drove past in his hired BMW courtesy car but later stopped and walked back to the scene.
Afterwards, Reza, a former bus and minicab driver, was heard to say: “I didn’t mean to hit her - she just stepped out.”
Reza, of Kingston-upon-Thames, and Spicer, of Harrow, north-west London, denied they were driving dangerously.
Reza said he got “scared” after cutting up Spicer’s BMW and thought the other car was going to hit him from behind.
He said: “At that time the only concern I had was to get home as soon as possible. I was going fast. I was not dangerous because I had full control of my car.”
But Spicer insisted he maintained a 20 metre gap behind Reza and was in “full control”, despite going over the speed limit.
Members of Miss Shamim’s family were in court throughout the trial.
Mr Khan said in a victim statement that a part of him died when she died.
He said: “For every parent their child is precious. In my case, Hina was my life. In our culture people tend to favour sons over daughters but for me, Hina was everything.”
“My wife and I had nurtured so many dreams for Hina’s life but sadly none of these will ever be fulfilled.
“She was robbed of her life and we have been robbed of a daughter and, my sons, a sister.”
Around 5,000 mourners attended her funeral and £29,000 was raised for charity projects in her honour.