Driver who killed teenage cousin in crash avoids jail
- Credit: Family
An Ely motorist avoided jail despite admitting he killed his teenage cousin – described by his parents as “caring and selfless” - by dangerous driving.
Mohammad Ashraf, 19, ignored warning signs about re-surfacing work before crashing into a concrete barrier in East Cambridgeshire.
Ashraf was behind the wheels of a black Vauxhall Corsa along the B1049 near Cottenham on August 30, 2019.
A court heard that he ignored signs about resurfacing work, which instructed motorists to drive at a maximum speed of 20mph and warned about the risk of skidding.
Instead, he overtook another vehicle near a bend at an estimated speed of more than 60mph.
A judge heard that after performing the overtake Ashraf lost control of his vehicle.
As he drove into the loose chippings, he was unable to regain control, causing him to collide with a concrete barrier preventing vehicles from entering the Great Ouse.
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Paramedics attended, but Samir Ashraf, 17, of Eastern Avenue, Ilford, died at the scene.
In a statement Samir Ashraf’s family said: “To state that the tragic death of our son Samir has left us devastated is an understatement.
“Samir was the glue that bonded our close family unit together. His caring and selfless personality had no bounds.
“His relationship with each of his family members was unique to that individual.
“Samir was a very affectionate young man.
“Unlike most teenage boys his age, he was not embarrassed to show his affection publicly.
“For Samir to give a hug or a kiss and tell us he loved us was normal. At times he would ask us to drop what we were doing to give him a hug or a kiss.
“How we now yearn for those precious moments now.”
The family statement added: “Samir loved life and enjoyed spending time with those he loved and cared for.
“His natural gift of making friends was a testament to his character. He was admired by his peers and loved by his elders.
“His charismatic personality and giving nature meant he was known to people of all ages and background. He conducted himself with humility and grace with anyone he met.
“He truly was, and always will be, the pride of our family.”
Peterborough Crown Court was told on August 13 that whilst receiving treatment from a paramedic, Mohammad Ashraf admitted driving “too fast”.
He said that he was doing “about 60 miles per hour” when he lost control.
Ashraf was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge to receive treatment for minor injuries, before being questioned by police at Parkside Station.
He answered ‘no comment’ to all questions in interview.
But he did volunteer a prepared statement emphasising his shock and remorse.
Ashraf, of Ely Road, Witcham Toll, Ely, was released on bail.
Later he was served with a postal requisition charging him with causing death by dangerous driving.
The court also heard that on 30 June last year Ashraf took out an insurance policy for a Ford Fiesta, but failed to tell the provider about the collision and another he had previously been involved in.
He also didn’t inform them of two previous convictions for driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and driving without insurance.
As a result, he was further charged with withholding information to obtain motor insurance.
At Peterborough Crown Court he was sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, having admitted the charges.
He was also ordered to complete 160 hours of unpaid work and disqualified from driving for four years.
Detective Sergeant Mark Dollard said: “This is another tragic case that highlights the consequences of dangerous driving.
“Mohammad Ashraf had a responsibility as a driver to be safe and careful. Instead, he drove recklessly and dangerously which has led to the death of his cousin Samir.
“I want this to be a warning to all drivers, but particularly young drivers - be careful behind the wheel, your actions can change lives forever.
“I would also like to say thank you to Samir’s family; they have been patient and dignified throughout this investigation.”