Driver jailed for killing toddler while driving twice the speed limit

Abid Mohmood, 40, killed Umar Akhalway, 2, and left his mother Hawa, 32, disabled when he drove at 58mph in a 30mph zone (Picture: Paul Beard /SWNS.COM)

A speeding driver who killed a toddler and left his mother disabled has been jailed for seven years.

Abid Mohmood, 40, mowed down a family of five when he drove at 58mph in a 30mph zone.

Umar Akhalway, 2, lost his life, while his mother Hawa, 32, and three siblings, aged six, 11, and 13, suffered serious injuries.

Mrs Akhalwaya was left with a broken back, smashed pelvis and a bleed to the brain and was in a coma for two weeks before she learnt of her little boy’s death.

The family had been visiting relatives when they left to walk to their car at around 9pm on Stoney Stanton Road, Coventry on April 8 last year.

As they crossed the road, Mohmood’s Volkswagen Bora ploughed into them.

The driver denied causing death by dangerous driving, telling officers that the four children dashed into the road before he could stop.

Mohmood told police that the children ran into the road before he could stop (Picture: SWNS)

However, CCTV caught him driving almost double the speed limit moments before the crash.

In a victim impact statement, Mrs Akhalwaya said the driver had ‘snatched away’ her ‘life and soul’.

She said: ‘Words cannot do justice to the pain I feel on a daily basis, not being able to hear the laughter of my beloved Umar.

‘The anguish and agony I feel at not being able to watch him growing up will torment me continuously.

‘He was my life and soul which has been snatched away from me so horrifically.

‘A tidal wave of grief broke over me as my family told me of the death of my baby.

‘It has left me disabled for life and my family emotionally scarred.

Mrs Akhalwaya said the driver had ‘snatched away’ her ‘life and soul’ (Picture: Paul Beard /SWNS.COM)

‘Mr Mohmood, you have never said sorry for your actions or shown any remorse, but for my peace of mind I have forgiven you.’

Joe Hingston, defending, said: ‘To its very core this is an utter tragedy, one that cannot be measured or articulated properly in any way.

‘It has ruined lives. Far beyond the conclusion of any sentence served by Mr Abid, the consequences will resonate.

‘He is a haunted man, although it is almost incomparable to the suffering others have endured.’

On Friday, Mohmood was jailed for seven years and two months after admitting causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving without insurance.

At Warwick Crown Court, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: ‘If you are going to suggest the fact the children went out into the road reduced his liability, you are going to have to say that.

‘You were driving your car along that road at high speed, and you hit 32-year-old Hawa and her two-year-old son Umar.

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‘Hawa suffered really terrible injuries.

‘She was unconscious for two weeks, and when she woke she woke to the news that her beloved child Umar had died in the incident.

‘She will never recover physically, she is effectively disabled for life, but the physical effects, serious as they are, are nothing compared to the loss of her child.

‘This incident happened because you were driving much, much too fast.

‘This was a normal residential road with cars parked on both sides, with a 30mph speed limit, and you were driving at almost twice that speed when this family crossed the road.

‘The older children came across first, and you swerved around them.

‘But there is no mitigation in that. You would not have needed to swerve to avoid them if you had been driving at a normal speed.

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‘The result of that was the tragedy that every parent dreads, a little boy was killed.

‘No words can really express the loss she and her family have suffered.

‘Her words of forgiveness for you are a testament both of her faith and to her generosity of spirit.

‘I have no doubt you are sorry for what happened, but it would have been much, much better for you and for everyone else if you had demonstrated that sorrow earlier, rather than waiting until the very day of the trial.’

Detective Sergeant Paul Hughes, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit of West Midlands Police, said: ‘This was a tragic case where a young boy with so much to live for had his life ripped away from him.

‘There were three other young family members there at the time who, although fortunately not hit by the car, will forever carry the horrors of what they saw that evening with them.

‘Umar’s mother could also have been killed at the hands of Mohmood’s reckless and illegal driving.

‘This conviction will never compensate for the devastation of what happened but we can only hope it provides some small comfort for Umar’s family.’

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