A dangerous driver has been jailed for 27 months after he left the scene of a potentially fatal crash between his high-powered Volkswagen Golf R and a car containing two female healthcare workers.
Following the crash on Dryclough Lane, Halifax, on the night of January 18 last year 38-year-old Ghulam Rasul was captured on CCTV footage retrieving something from his damaged car and calmly walking away before he was picked up by a friend in another vehicle.
The other car, containing an NHS healthcare worker and a community staff nurse, had been shunted onto the parking area of a nearby garage by the force of the impact and Judge Andrew Hatton noted that Rasul left the scene even though there could have been two dead people in that vehicle.
Prosecutor James Lake said Rasul left very soon after the collision without checking on the injuries of the females and without contacting the emergency services.
Bradford Crown Court heard today (Mon) that the injured community nurse, who had been a passenger in the car, thought her colleague was dead when she rang 999 from the vehicle.
The court heard that the female driver suffered a head injury, a fractured collarbone and two broken ribs.
Shortly before the collision, Rasul had been seen in the Golf accelerating away from a set of traffic lights and overtaking another motorist on the wrong side of the road.
The car containing the healthcare workers had been making a right turn at the time and the driver, who had been doing home visits to vulnerable patients, bore the brunt of the impact.
Rasul, who was the registered owner of the Golf and fully insured, was traced by police, but he initially claimed that the collision was not his fault and blamed the other driver for trying to turn right without looking.
Rasul, of Wharf Street, Sowerby Bridge, claimed he panicked after the collision, but at a court hearing in October last year he pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
At the time of the crash Rasul was still on prison licence after being jailed in 2015 for drug dealing offences.
Solicitor advocate Simon Hustler, for Rasul, said his decision to overtake had been “a catastrophic error of judgement” and had been out of character for a man who had held a clean driving licence for 20 years.
Mr Hustler said his client had expressed remorse and very much wanted to offer his sincere apologies to the victims.
Causing serious injury by dangerous driving carries a maximum jail term of five years, but Rasul’s guilty plea meant he was entitled by law to a 25 percent discount on the sentence he would have got following a trial.
Judge Hatton said Rasul would have been jailed for three years following a trial, but that had to be reduced to 27 months.
He also said Rasul would be banned from driving for just over five years and he must take an extended re-test at the end of the disqualification period.
Judge Hatton said Rasul had undoubtedly been diving too fast that night when he ploughed into the other car.
“What is plain is that you knew you had been in collision with another vehicle and you did nothing about it,” he told Rasul.
“You went nowhere near that vehicle.”
He said Rasul had shut the door of his own car and calmly walked away as if nothing had happened leaving to two injured women in a car nearby.
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