A man has been jailed after he struck and killed a pedestrian with the car he was driving in Northolt.
Leon Gregory – 42 (08.03.78) of Grange Court Northolt was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Friday, 4 December to the following:
- causing death by dangerous driving – six years’ imprisonment;
- two counts of perverting the course of justice – a total of 14 months’ imprisonment;
- incitement to supply class A drugs – two months’ imprisonment.
All sentences will run consecutively.
He has also been banned from driving for eight years and ten months.
Gregory has been found guilty of all the offences following a trial at the same court on Tuesday, 1 December.
The court heard how Gregory had been driving a black Ford Fiesta without the headlights on in Northolt on the evening of Wednesday, 5 February. At around 20:15hrs 55-year-old Maya Gurung was walking home from work along Wayfarer Road, Northolt. As she crossed the road, Gregory’s car collided with her.
Gregory initially stopped but then after turning on his headlights, he drove away from the scene leaving Maya critically injured in the road. A passing couple called 999 and an ambulance took Maya to hospital – however, she sadly died from her injuries on 11 February.
Police launched an investigation and the morning following the collision, the Ford Fiesta was found abandoned in Watery Lane, Northolt. Damage that the vehicle had sustained matched debris left at the scene of the collision.
Enquiries quickly led to Gregory being linked to the car and he was arrested on 10 February. Despite denying involvement, Gregory was charged and remanded to prison while awaiting trial.
Whilst in prison, Gregory threatened a prosecution witness about evidence they were going to give and also attempted to persuade them to smuggle class A drugs into the prison. Gregory was further charges with perverting the course of justice and incitement to supply class A drugs.
As investigations continued into Gregory’s activities, officers spoke to several witnesses who provided evidence that Gregory had used the car involved in the collision on numerous occasions in the 12 months prior to his arrest; often when he was in an unfit state.
An instance was identified in April 2019 when Gregory was stopped but gave false details to officers which subsequently led to another person being disqualified from driving – he was charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to this incident.
During his trial, Gregory refused to accept any responsibility for his actions, claiming numerous other people could have been responsible. However, the weight of evidence against him was such that the jury convicted him of all offences.
Detective Sergeant Matthew Smith of the Roads and Transport Policing Command said:
“Gregory’s selfish and reckless actions have resulted in the death of a much-loved mother and family member. Throughout the court process, Gregory refused to take responsibility for his actions – his cowardly ignorance meaning Maya’s family had to sit through a trial.
“I hope that his conviction and sentencing can give them some form of closure and also serves as a stark warning about the lethal consequences that dangerous driving can have.”
Maya’s son, Suman Gurung, said in a victim impact statement that was read to court:
"I would like to thank all the witnesses who called 999 when they found Leon Gregory under the influence of drugs inside his car on multiple occasions. You all judged he was unfit to drive and letting him drive in his state could cause an accident, and reported the vehicle to 999 which tremendously helped my mom's case. Because of all those 999 calls, the CPS were able to prove Leon Gregory had control of the vehicle and was using it consistently.
“I am extremely grateful to Linda, Chris and Matthew who worked on my mom's case. Because of their hard-work, my mom got the justice she deserves. While I believe the law heavily favours the defendants and is extremely unfair towards the victim(s) and their families, competent officers like these three would do anything in their capabilities to help the victim(s) and their families get the justice they deserve. As a victim's family that was a big source of strength for me.
“The fact that there are people out there who want justice for my mom as much as I do makes me believe there are still good people left in this world. I are truly grateful to everyone who helped my mom or all those good people who called 999 to report a person unfit to drive."