Thursday 27 July 2017

'Arrogant' speeding BMW driver guilty of killing student as she crossed the road

Hina Shamim Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire
Hina Shamim Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

Emily Pennink

An "arrogant" speeding BMW driver has been found guilty of killing a young student who was mown down as she crossed the road outside her university campus.

Farid Reza, 36, and William Spicer, 28, were accused of racing and showing off at more than twice the 30mph speed limit before the crash which killed 21-year-old student Hina Shamim on March 31 2015.

They denied causing the death of the Kingston University sports science undergraduate by their dangerous driving.

Reza was found guilty of the charge, but Spicer was acquitted, and convicted instead of the lesser offence of careless driving following an Old Bailey trial.

Reza was also convicted of injuring one of five children who were 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, Ms Shamim's father spoke of the family's grief and devastation.

He criticised both drivers' "arrogance" and said: "I ask them, what gives you the right to put lives in danger through your driving.

"Such unbelievable arrogance."

Spicer was fined £1,000 plus £500 costs and handed nine penalty points.

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.

The victim was hit by Reza's car and went over the bonnet, banging her head on the windscreen.

Spicer, also a Kingston University student, drove past in a hired BMW 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.

Giving evidence, 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 metres gap behind Reza and was in "full control", despite going over the speed limit.

He said: "I saw it all. I saw it from a distance of 20 metres. I was able to keep calm and react. I made a comment in my car, saying 'What's he doing? There's a bus'.

Asked if he realised someone had been knocked down, he replied: "No, not at all. I wouldn't have been able to see her because of my seated position in my car."

Members of Miss Shamim's family, including her father Shamim Khan, were in court throughout the trial.

Mr Khan said in a victim statement that a part of him died when she died.

He said: "Hina was my life. In our culture people tend to favour sons over daughters but for me, Hina was everything."

He described her as a "compassionate and selfless woman" whose death had affected a whole community.

Around 5,000 mourners attended her funeral and £29,000 was raised for charity projects in her honour.

Reza will be sentenced later.

Press Association

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