Court case: Driver fined £130 after he ‘nearly killed’ pedestrian

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

A driver who hit and “nearly killed” a pedestrian was fined £130 and kept his licence - but complained the sentence wasn’t fair.

Saeed Ur Rehman (37) left Colne builder Stephen Sumner with “life-threatening and life-changing” injuries after the collision in Burnley.

We accept you were driving at low speed and there was no mobile phone, drink or drugs or any other aggravating factors involved

Magistrates

Mr Sumner, who had been crossing Bright Street to buy his lunch, was almost on the pavement when he was hit at 12-40pm. He was in an induced coma for five weeks and spent almost four months in hospital, a court heard.

The town’s magistrates were told how the victim, who has played bagpipes for the Queen, suffered smashed ribs, a punctured lung, kidney failure, pneumonia and septicaemia and almost died. Rehman, of Sharp Street, Burnley, who had an interpreter assisting him throughout the hearing, claimed the accident was due to a “momentary lapse of concentration”.

Rehman admitted driving a Vauxhall Zafira without due care and attention on March 24th. The self-employed defendant, said to earn £200 a week, was fined £130 and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs, at £30 a month.

Rehman already had three penalty points on his licence. The offence carries between three and nine points and he would have been banned if he had received nine, as 12 points leads to disqualification. As Bench chairman John James told the defendant, at the very end of the hearing and after his sentencing remarks, he was being given six points, the defendant said: “This is not fair with me.”

Nina Lewis, in mitigation, had told the court there was no evidence of any mobile phone use. Cars were parked on both sides of the road. She said it was a busy road and it was 12-30pm. The solicitor continued: “We would suggest it was quite a busy point of the day when he was having to pay attention to other hazards.”

Miss Lewis said the defendant had shown genuine remorse, had entered an early guilty plea and had offered assistance at the scene and throughout the proceedings. He had stopped as soon as he realised there had been an impact. The solicitor added: “It was a momentary lapse of concentration on his part.”

Mr James told the defendant the justices had looked at photos of the road in question and had read Mr Sumner’s victim impact statement and a letter Rehman’s wife had written to the court on his behalf.

He continued: “We have spent some considerable time discussing this matter and where we feel this matter lies because we have to follow the sentencing guidelines.” Mr James said: “We accept you were driving at low speed and there was no mobile phone, drink or drugs or any other aggravating factors involved.”

Mr James said factors that increased the seriousness of the case were that the victim suffered life-threatening and life-changing injuries as a result of the impact. He was in hospital for 14 weeks, a lot of it in intensive care, and is still off work.

The chairman told Rehman: “You have shown total remorse, both at the scene and at the court this morning through your solicitor. Immediately after the impact you stopped your vehicle and assisted at the scene of the accident and have have shown full co-operation both at the scene of the accident and also when dealing with the police at the police station.”