A private hire driver admitted driving without due care and attention after a gifted student was knocked over suffering “catastrophic” injuries.
Driver Rizwan Ali was travelling at excessive speed when he approached Hyde Park Corner in the early hours.
He could not stop in time, before hitting the student pedestrian Edward Buckley as he walked home, causing massive head injuries and multiple fractures.
He was rushed to the city’s neurological intensive care arriving within five minutes, which doctors said undoubtedly saved his life.
Mr Buckley, now 21, who was studying to be a commercial pilot, was told he would never walk or talk again after the accident.
Married Ali, 29, of Stanningley Road, Armley, was also found guilty of plying for trade in his private hire vehicle and driving without insurance, in a trial yesterday at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge of driving without due care and attention and consideration was given to his early guilty plea for sentencing.
Ali denied willingly picking up four university students in his vehicle, in the city centre, with a pre-booked fare.
Ali said in court they had simply got into his car at city centre traffic lights, near Bed nightclub, without permission.
The students argued he had agreed at £7 fare to the Lupton flats in Headingley, after they knocked on his window.
It was on the journey home in the early hours of January 21, last year, that he was unable to stop in his vehicle after driving at an excessive speed along Otley Road, and hit Mr Buckley, who was studying to be a commercial pilot, near Hyde Park Corner.
Prosector Robert Campbell told how it has been impossible to determine the exact speed he had been travelling at, but it had been agreed he had been speeding and was unable to stop before colliding with Edward. Mr Campbell said: “He was travelling too quickly and collided with Mr Buckley, whose injuries were catastrophic. He hesitated for a moment and was hit. The defendant was stopped at the scene by police after various witnesses described seeing Mr Buckley crossing the road at the time, and hesitated for a moment and was hit.
“I understand he is only just recovering 12 months later.”
Ali was given nine penalty points on his driving licence for driving without due care and attention. The other two convictions were taken into consideration but additional points not given. He was ordered to pay a fine of £255, plus £400 costs and a £15 victim surcharge,
Solicitor Shuaib Khalil, defending Ali, said afterwards that the driver had been ‘devastated’ by the incident and what had happened to the victim.