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Sunday, October 04, 2015
Bradford driver, 27, admits killing pedestrian in hit-and-run crash
A BRADFORD man has admitted killing a pedestrian in a hit-and-run crash.
During a ten-minute hearing at Leeds Crown Court yesterday Majid Malik, 27, appeared over a video link from Leeds Prison.
When the charge of causing the death of James Gilbey by driving a vehicle dangerously on the Stanningley by-pass on July 13 was put to him he replied “guilty”.
Mr Gilbey, 25 was returning home to the Bramley area after seeing a friend in Kirkstall, Leeds when he was struck by a Volkswagen Golf driven by Malik, of Silverhill Avenue, Bradford Moor.
The Golf, said by the prosecution to have been travelling at more than 70mph at the point of impact, was driven off and later found abandoned in Bradford by police.
Stephen Uttley, representing Malik, told the court the defendant had accepted responsibility at a previous hearing when he was unrepresented “and is formally entering that plea today”.
But he said there were two matters which the defendant did not accept. “The first is he does not accept he was racing a white Audi motor car.”
Mr Uttley said that had been suggested by one witness.
The second issue was that the prosecution had obtained an expert’s report dealing with the circumstances of the accident and the purported speed of the vehicle.
“Mr Malik accepts he was exceeding the speed limit but he cannot say himself what speed he thought he was doing at the time of the impact.”
He said the prosecution expert indicated he had obtained data from the Golf’s computer system and “from that he purports to say it was 72mph at the point of impact”.
Mr Uttley said the defence was concerned to establish how reliable that information was in VW cars and wanted to obtain its own expert’s report to see if that was contradictory.
“You will appreciate these matters are very relevant ultimately to the court’s determination of sentence in this case. If the court finds there was racing and excessive speed that is an aggravating feature under the guidelines.”
He said the defence did not want to cause further delay and distress to Mr Gilbey’s family “but these are matters that have to be looked into before sentencing takes place”.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said he appreciated Mr Gilbey’s family would want the matter dealt with as soon as possible.
“At least today they have the comfort of knowing the defendant accepts responsibility,” he said.
“I hope they will understand it is very important to assess the appropriate sentence. The court has to have a firm basis on which to pass sentence.”
Judge Marson adjourned the case until November 30 when the case will either be mentioned to fix a date for a Newton hearing for a judge without a jury to establish the facts of the case if they are disputed or for sentence to be passed.
Remanding Malik in custody until then, he told him: “You understand a custodial sentence is inevitable.”
A second man has been charged in connection with the collision. Kaiz Mahmood, aged 28, of Hinchcliffe Street, Bradford, has been charged with dangerous driving and driving without insurance as part of the investigation into the death of Mr Gilbey and will appear at Leeds Magistrates Court on Wednesday, October 21.
Seven other men who were arrested as part of the investigation have been released from their bail.A further charge of failing to stop at the scene of an accident was not put to Malik yesterday.