Split-second error caused Leeds PC’s death

COMMUNITY SENTENCE: Josh Lewis and below, Pc Perviz Ahmed.
COMMUNITY SENTENCE: Josh Lewis and below, Pc Perviz Ahmed.
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A careless driver whose “split-second mistake” claimed the life of a police officer as he rode home from work has walked free from court.

Newly-qualified engineer Josh Lewis was late to meet a friend when he pulled out in front of Pc Perviz Ahmed’s motorcycle, Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard.

The firearms officer, who was an advanced driver with West Yorkshire Police, collided with Lewis’s Vauxhall Astra on Stanningley Road in Armley.

Lewis, 21, of Newlay Wood Avenue, Horsforth, Leeds, admitted causing the married father’s death by careless driving when he appeared in court on Friday, June 22.

Pc Ahmed’s family wept in court as he was given a 12-month community order, told to do 200 hours of community work and banned from driving for 18 months.

Deputy District Judge Pamela Baldwin said no sentence would compensate for the officer’s death.

The court heard Pc Ahmed, a married father of a 13-month-old boy, was returning from work in Wakefield to his home at Clover Court in Calverley at about 3pm on July 30 last year when the crash happened.

He collided with Lewis’s car as it pulled out of Moorfield Road to get to the refuge in the middle of Stanningley Road, sending the car spinning 180 degrees.

Examination of Lewis’s phone records revealed he had arranged to meet a friend and was running late.

He said he thought he had enough time to make the manoeuvre and claimed Pc Ahmed may have been speeding – this was dismissed by expert crash investigators.

Reading from a report by an investigator, prosecutor Carla Harrison said: “At best the car driver has significantly misjudged the situation and in effect has failed to give way safely to the presence of the motorcycle.”

Pc Ahmed died the following day.

Mitigating for Lewis, Rob Bimpson said: “He made a split-second mistake that was followed by the most horrendously heart-breaking consequences.”

Pc Ahmed’s widow Rita Bhogal said: “He will forever be in our hearts.”