A driver who caused the death of a man in a "totally avoidable" collision in north London has been jailed.
Mohammed Jamil Ali 24 (19.09.1996) of Cornwallis Square, London N19 was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and was disqualified from driving for five years and six months’, at the Old Bailey today, Friday 22 January for causing death by dangerous driving.
Jamil Ali had been convicted on 4 December 2020 after he pleaded guilty to the offence at the same court.
On the morning of Thursday, 14 March 2019, Ali was driving to his workplace in his VW Golf. It was approximately 05:35hrs and he had driven a backstreet route from his home near Archway to get to High Road, Wood Green. It was dark, and it was raining, so road conditions were poor, but Ali was driving in excess of the speed limit of 30mph.
At the same time, 57-year-old David Marshall of Palmerston Road, Palmers Green, London was on his way to work. He had left his home and walked down Spencer Avenue and was about to cross High Road to get to a bus stop just south of Berkshire Gardens.
A bus was pulling up at the bus stop, and Mr Marshall started speeding up his walk to get to the bus. He started to cross High Road, but then stopped as he saw Ali's car bearing down on him; he attempted to step back, but Ali was going too fast to brake.
He attempted to steer around Mr Marshall but collided with him as he tried to get off the carriageway. Mr Marshall was struck and suffered fatal injuries and he sadly died at the scene.
Ali stopped his vehicle and called 999.
Officers attended and spoke to Ali. As per procedure, he was tested at the scene for drugs and alcohol. He was found to be over the legal limit for cannabis, and was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and being unfit to drive through drugs.
Ali was interviewed about the collision and told the officers that he was driving to work, he wasn't late and was travelling at about 25mph all the way.
He said the pedestrian had just run out in front of him and he had no time to react. When asked about the cannabis reading he said he did not take cannabis and never had. He told officers he slept with his windows open and there is a resident in his block who smokes. He stated the cannabis smoke wafts in through his window and he must have inhaled it in his sleep.
However, officers from the Met’s, Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU), began an inquiry into the matter.
CCTV of the collision was reviewed and it could be seen that the Ali’s car was travelling well in excess of the speed limit.
The CCTV was viewed by a police expert who calculated the speed of the Golf at around 45-48mph immediately prior to impact.
Further CCTV was retrieved of Ali’s driving immediately prior to the collision. This showed Ali undertaking vehicles by driving in the bus lane, then swerving out to overtake a bus.
A collision reconstruction showed the fatal collision was totally avoidable if Ali had driven within the speed limit.
Experts also cast doubt on Ali’s explanation of having drugs in his system, as his blood sample was significantly above the legal threshold for cannabis.
As a result of the investigation by officers from the Met’s SCIU, Ali was charged with causing death by dangerous driving.
Detective Constable Iain Lister of the SCIU said: “At the time of this fatal collision it was dark and it was raining. Visibility would have been decreased and stopping distance increased due to the wet roads. Yet Ali chose to drive over the speed limit in those conditions and while he had cannabis in his system.
Ali tried to deny the collision was due to the manner of his driving and told officers that the drugs were in his system by accident. However, our investigation quickly uncovered the facts, that this was a series of reckless acts the led to David Marshal losing his life. Mr Marshal’s family have been left devastated by a totally avoidable collision that emanated from Ali’s wanton recklessness.”
David’s widow Eileen Marshal said:
“When without warning, without notice, my husband was taken away from me forever, never to be returned, the life I knew suddenly vanished. David, who used to share my joy as well as my unhappiness, lend me his supportive hand and his shoulder to cry on, was gone. I have no words to describe my loss and sadness, apart from the fathomless void that engulf me.
“Amidst this devastation, there is only one thing I am quite certain – my husband’s death was avoidable. I feel this tremendous sense of unjust that David’s life was cut short in such a tragic manner and the life we shared and the future we had planned together were so cruelly, completely and utterly destroyed.”