‘I hope death of fellow biker will haunt you’
Man guilty of causing death by careless driving
AN inexperienced, speeding motorcyclist who killed another rider in his group was told by a judge on Friday that his driving should “haunt him”.
Babar Gull, 32, received a suspended jail sentence for causing the death of teacher Ahmed Bafadhel by careless driving on the A355 Amersham Road in Coleshill.
Judge Andrew Bright QC told the former taxi driver: “I hope you realise that by your careless driving you have brought to an end the life of a young man who had great potential. I hope it haunts you. It should haunt you.”
The judge passed a 36week jail sentence suspended for two years.
He also banned the father of three from Barleyfields, Wooburn Green, from driving for 18 months and said he must take an extended retest before regaining his licence.
In addition, Gull must carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work and pay £1,500 costs at the rate of £15 a week.
St Albans Crown Court was told the riders had come across a Skoda that had been stopped by a police officer.
He was dealing with a Mercedes car that had broken down on the crest of a hill on the other side of the road.
Mr Bafadhel, riding a Honda and was second in a line of seven bikers when he was hit at least once by Gull’s Suzuki, which had been travelling at a speed of up to 73 miles per hour.
Mr Bafadhel, from Alpha Street North, Slough, was airlifted to the John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, but died of his injuries.
The court was read a tribute to Mr Bafadhel, who was the head of technology at Slough and Eton School, from his head teacher Paul McAteer.
He said: “His enthusiasm for teaching has always been magnificent. That shone through with everything that he did – the pupils loved him for it.
“His parents should be so proud of him. He was so happy and always smiling.”
Gull, who had only passed his motorbike test seven months before the fatal crash, suffered serious permanent leg injuries and walks with crutches.
Prosecutor Robert Underwood told the jury the crash happened at Tower Road, Coleshill, at around 2.20pm on July 31 last year.
The road is a single carriageway with a speed limit of 60 miles per hour.
It is considered a dangerous road with hidden bends and dips.
Questioned by his barrister Brian Russell, he said that as they rode along the A355, Mr Bafadhel was five or six bike lengths ahead.
Gull said: “It happened very quickly. I braked. I started slipping towards the car. The only thing I remember is there was a bang. I could taste blood in my mouth.”
He added: “Maybe we touched each others bikes. He was on the white line. I was in the middle. I remember he started coming in.”
Under cross-examination, Mr Underwood put it to Gull that he had a sight-line of 105 metres to see the stopped Skoda.
He said: “You had more than enough time to stop. More than enough time to take evasive actions. Why didn’t you?”
Gull replied: “God knows I tried my best.”
Mr Russell said his client had no previous convictions and a clean driving licence.
In a victim personal statement, Mr Bafadhel’s sister Sarah said her family did not want vengeance, but had wished Gull had pleaded guilty to save the family the angst of a trial which had reopened wounds that have yet to heal.
Judge Bright said it was not hard to see why the defendant’s failure to accept responsibility was regarded by Mr Bafadhel’s family as cowardice.