TWO hit-and-run drivers who caused the death of a man by their “madcap” racing on a busy main road in Leeds have each been jailed for eight years.
Majid Malik and Kaiz Mahmood were handed the lengthy sentences today over the death of 25-year-old James Gilbey.
My Gilbey died at the scene of the collision on Stanningley Road on July 13 last year after suffering catastrophic injuries as the pair raced their high-powered cars.
Both men briefly stopped their vehicles but sped away after seeing Mr Gilbey’s body.
Mr Gilbey’s father, Major Richard Gilbey, wept as he read victim personal statements to the court on behalf of himself, wife Angela, and daughter Victoria.
Mrs Gilbey’s statement read: “My son was not killed as a result of dangerous driving, he was murdered.
“Anybody choosing to drive a car at that speed in a built up area must accept that they may kill somebody, no less so than firing a gun of plunging a knife into a body.”
Mjr Gilbey said: “The one person who has not been given any rights is the one person who has lost everything in this, James, the real victim.
“He only asked for one right, a right that every citizen in the United Kingdom should reasonably expect, the right to walk home safely.
“That this most basic of human rights was taken from James along with his life, by the dangerous, reckless, self-obsessed, callous actions of Majid Malik.
“On taking the decision to drive his car at such high speed and in such a reckless manner, as he did that night, showed a total disregard to the safety of others, willingly putting other road users at risk in search of his self-gratification.”
Mjr Gilbey, who serves in the Army Physical Training Corps, added: “I want my son, I want to shake his hand, hug him and chat, laugh and joke with him over a pint but I can’t.
“All I do is hold and kiss the urn that holds his ashes, talk to him through that and his pictures and light his candles.
“That is not enough and should not be what any parent does for their child.
“It is all I am now able to do for my litte boy, my son, my James.”
Leeds Crown Court heard Malik’s VW Golf had reached speeds of up to 79mph before his vehicle struck Mr Gilbey.
Malik, 28, of Silverhill Avenue, Bradford, fled the scene and burned his clothes after the incident. He was traced after the car number plate came off at the scene.
The vehicle was was found abandoned the next day. He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.
Mahmood’s Audi A5 was spattered with Gilbey’s blood as he was so close to Malik’s vehicle as they “jostled for position”.
Mahmood, of Hinchliff Street, Bradford, denied causing death by dangerous driving but was found guilty after a trial.
Both men were also banned from driving for ten years.
Malik has a long criminal record, which includes driving offences.
Jailing the pair, judge James Spencer, QC, told the pair: “Your acceleration was madcap. It was driving that was concerned only with getting ahead of the other.
“It shows a complete disregard for the road.”
Supporters of Malik and Mahmood had to be escorted from the courtroom and the court building after the case.
Several of them returned to high-powered BMW vehicles, which had been parked on a restricted area directly in front of the building, to find they had been issued with parking tickets.
After the case, Det Supt Nick Wallen, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “Malik and Mahmood used the public highway as a racetrack and drove their vehicles at nearly twice the speed limit with complete disregard for the safety of other people.
“Their appallingly selfish actions caused the death of James Gilbey, who was a decent young man who had his whole life ahead of him. His family have been left completely devastated at losing him in such sudden a senseless circumstances.
“I attended the scene on the night of James’ death and saw first-hand the horrific aftermath caused by these men’s actions. They however fled the scene and had to be tracked down.
“This case has not only seen Malik, as the driver involved in the collision, convicted of causing death by dangerous driving but also Mahmood, who was racing with him. He has been found to be equally culpable for causing James’ death. We hope this will serve as a stark reminder to others that we will always do everything we can to ensure those involved in causing deaths on the roads face the full consequences.”