A lunatic driver in a stolen car killed a cabbie in a horror smash – seven months after car-jacking a star of the hit TV show The Secret Millionaire.
Paul Pilotille was today starting an eight-year prison sentence after a judge told him he had one of the worst records for driving offences he had seen in 35 years.
Leeds Crown Court heard the 30-year-old, of Stanmore Grove in Burley, was speeding at nearly three times the 20mph limit when his stolen BMW crashed into Mohammed Yousaf’s taxi on Argie Avenue in Kirkstall on June 23 this year.
Pilotille and a passenger, Shahid Hussain, ran off after the collision, leaving the father-of-five half slumped out of his car with a fatal head injury.
Hussain, who described Pilotille as driving like a “maniac”, went to the police after hearing of 49-year-old Mr Yousaf’s death.
Having arrested him for causing death by dangerous driving, detectives then found out Pilotille had committed an offence of aggravated vehicle taking on November 9 last year.
In that incident he sped off from Hunslet Carr Sports and Social Club in south Leeds, in a car hired by a film crew who were filming The Secret Millionaire.
Internationally-renowned theatre producer David King, who was doling out money to good causes as part of the Channel 4 programme, was sitting in the passenger seat.
He pleaded with Pilotille to stop the car and managed to get out when he screeched to a stop a short distance from the club.
The car was later found abandoned on nearby Hillidge Road, Hunslet.
Prosecutor Ahmed Bashir said: “Mr King recalls this event as being one of his worst life experiences, with his life being in the hands of a lunatic.”
Pilotille had 21 previous convictions for 102 offences, the vast majority of which were vehicle-related.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: “In my 35 years, this is one of the worst criminal records for driving and other offences.”
Referring to Mr Yousaf’s death, he told Pilotille: “You drove like a lunatic ... as a result you wiped out a decent man and you ran off in a cowardly attempt to avoid apprehension.”
In a statement read to the court, Mr Yousaf’s widow, Shanaz Hussain, spoke of losing her “soul mate” and her “rock”.
The statement said: “I feel dead myself. I want Yousaf back, I can’t believe he is gone.”
Passing an extended sentence of imprisonment, which means he must serve three years on licence after his release, Judge Marson said the defendant was a danger to the public.
After the hearing, David King told the YEP: “I am devastated this dangerous villain who car-jacked me went on to cause the death of a hard-working, innocent man.
“If only he’d been caught sooner, maybe this awful tragedy would never have happened.
“After the car-jacking I said I felt I was the luckiest man alive to have escaped with just a few bumps and bruises.
“Now I know he went on to cause somebody to die, I feel even more fortunate.”