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Court of Appeal doubles jail term for driver who killed cyclist

Judges increase “unduly lenient” sentence handed to Syed Ahmed from four years to eight

A hit-and-run driver who killed a cyclist has had his prison sentence doubled at the Court of Appeal after judges ruled that the original jail term handed down of four years was  “unduly lenient.”

Syed Ahmed, aged 32, who was travelling at more than twice the speed limit when he struck 31-year-old cyclist Jay Kristiansen from behind, will now spend eight years in jail.

The fatal crash happened in the early hours of 24 July 2020 on Romford Road, Forest Gate, east London, reports Mail Online.

Ahmed, from Newham, had been driving his Audi A8 at speeds exceeding 65mph in a 30mph zone according to CCTV footage.

He did not stop at the scene and his car was later found abandoned, but several days later handed himself in to police.

In August, he was jailed for four years by Judge Sandy Cavan after being convicted by a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court of causing death by dangerous driving.

The sentence was appealed by Solicitor General Michael Tomlinson on the grounds that it was unduly lenient.

In their judgment handed down yesterday, appeal court judges Lord Justice William Davis, Mr Justice Morris and Judge Sylvia de Bertodano said that the trial judge had not taken current sentencing guidelines into account when determining the punishment imposed on Ahmed.

In the judgment, Lord Justice Davis said that Ahmed had “ignored the rules” of the road, pointed out that he was driving at a speed “significantly in excess” of the 30mph limit, and described his behaviour after the crash as “reprehensible.”

In a statement released after Syed was sentenced in August, Mr Kristiansen’s family said that he was “a funny and caring young man, in particular he had a great kindness and love of animals.

“He still had so many hope and dreams, including having a family of his own. We will not be able to see him realise those dreams.

“'Today we finally got justice for our cheeky little chappie. We will miss you forever, life isn't the same without you here.”

Following the original sentence, Acting Detective Sergeant Liz Carrey of the Metropolitan Police said: Ahmed’s reckless actions that day led to the death of young man, which has devastated his family and friends. I would like to recognise their dignity throughout the trial, which has been incredibly difficult for them.

“Our investigation showed that Ahmed had no regard for public safety, with CCTV showing that he had been driving at over 65mph in 30mph zone. After the collision he drove away, leaving Mr Kristiansen with catastrophic injuries, relying on other members of the public to call for help.

“Time and time again we see the devastating impact of dangerous driving and it is right that Ahmed has received a custodial sentence today, I hope that the sentence handed down today serves as a warning of the potential consequences of driving recklessly,” she added.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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12 comments

Avatar
peted76 | 5 months ago
3 likes

But specifically, the killing of someone while proven to be driving reprehensibly = absolutley should be a lifetime revocation of motor vehicle licence. You've lost your privilege to drive a car, end of. 

It is one way we will see a change in peoples behaviour. Points aren't a deterrant, jail doesn't seem to be much of a deterrant, fines don't do diddly squat.. but threaten the motons with removal of what they percieve as their 'right' to drive and THEN we'll see a step change in driving attiude. The sooner the law percives that right as a privilege then the sooner our roads will be safer for everyone.

 

Avatar
mitsky replied to peted76 | 5 months ago
0 likes

I would go further and say that in these sorts of cases the criminal should lose their taste buds and libido.
Temporarily or permanently.
Now that would be a deterrent.

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Heartbroken mum replied to peted76 | 5 months ago
4 likes

Yeah your right they shouldn't be allowed to come out and drive again when we was there on Friday they said they extended his driving ban to 10 years but he will still be allowed to drive he killed my boy he was innocent riding his bike minding his own business shouldn't be allowed to drive ever and risk killing someone's else's family 😡😡😡😡😡😡

Avatar
Safety | 5 months ago
1 like

The original sentence was over turned because the trial judge didn't follow sentencing guidelines.

What if any action for retraining or discipline etc is ever taken for these people? You can be damned sure if I failed to follow proper procedures at my work resulting in complaints and significant expense I'd be subject to some action. In addition if it was a recurring issue a wider training/education programme would be undertaken for all staff. It's just good business practice.

Avatar
lonpfrb replied to Safety | 5 months ago
1 like
Safety wrote:

The original sentence was over turned because the trial judge didn't follow sentencing guidelines.

What if any action for retraining or discipline etc is ever taken for these people? You can be damned sure if I failed to follow proper procedures at my work resulting in complaints and significant expense I'd be subject to some action. In addition if it was a recurring issue a wider training/education programme would be undertaken for all staff. It's just good business practice.

When Sentencing is your job surely it's negligence to not comply with published guidance so a disciplinary matter.
You can't be in the enforcement business and not take accountability.

Avatar
wtjs | 5 months ago
9 likes

will now spend eight years in jail

Except it's only 4 years in jail. Even so, this is a much better result than many we have seen.

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dubwise | 5 months ago
20 likes

Still too lenient

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perce replied to dubwise | 5 months ago
5 likes

Agreed. 

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OldRidgeback replied to dubwise | 5 months ago
3 likes

You beat me to it. 

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ChasP replied to dubwise | 5 months ago
12 likes

I can't see the term of the driving ban imposed but I'm sure that's a joke too and should be lifetime.

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Heartbroken mum replied to ChasP | 5 months ago
10 likes

It was extended to 10 years so he cant driver for another 6 years after he gets out 

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KJay replied to dubwise | 5 months ago
1 like

Agree. Wholly inadequate sentencing for these type of offences. Sorry for the family they shouldn't have to suffer the ordeal of a review to get what remains an inadequate penalty.

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