ten years might sound like a long time to spend in prison, but when it comes to Akash Rashid it doesn’t even begin to pay back the cost of his crimes.
In short, he was a young drug dealer driving dangerously to evade police and in the process he killed a man. Not just any man, but a much-loved and highly-respected Leeds academic called Dr Andrew Platten.
During the pursuit Rashid ignored junctions and weaved along the road. After the fatal collision, he tried to run from police.
Dr Platten was a fine man. His son described in his victim impact statement how he would give anything to spend even five seconds with the father he looked up as a hero and a mentor. Dr Platten had been chairman of the Centre for Knowledge Excellence - an enterprise hub at Leeds Beckett University.
Barrister Shufqat Khan for the driver read a letter written by Rashid in which he accepted that he deserved a long prison sentence. Well, we agree.
In truth, whatever the sentence handed down by the judge would have been insufficient. We do not criticise the judge who said “to place a value on a life for such is an impossibility.”
Dr Platten’s life is and was immeasurable.
It’s a tragedy that his life was cut short for such a trivial reason by such an abhorrent youth.