A speeding driver who hit and killed a 16-year-old cycling home from school has today been jailed for five years and disqualified from driving for 12 years and six months.
Sami Ula Jabbar, who had a previous conviction for careless driving and was on bail at the time of the crash, heard his sentence at the High Court in Glasgow after admitting to causing death by dangerous driving.
The court heard that the 29-year-old was driving his Mercedes at around 80mph before he hit Harley Smith as the teenager cycled home from school.
CCTV footage from the incident on the dark and foggy evening of 6 November 2020 showed the motorist speeding through residential streets in Laurieston, Falkirk, well in excess of the 30mph limit, while one witness reported telling her husband the driver was "going to kill someone" just moments before the fatal collision.
Smith, a pupil at St Mungo's High School, was struck on Polmont Road just before 9pm and died from a fatal head injury at the scene. Prosecuting, Alex Prentice QC reported a witness had seen "the car screeching to a halt. A person being propelled into the air to the height of what seemed like the top of the lamp post."
"You drove at 80mph — a speed which is breathtaking," Judge Lord Mulholland told him. "If you had driven at a safe speed this tragedy would not have happened. Harley Smith would be alive today realising his full potential. It is clear he was a fine young man loved by many."
Jabbar told police the cyclist was wearing dark clothing and had come "out of nowhere".
"I never seen him and then...boom. He came right on top of the windscreen," he continued.
As the driver was led from court, some family and friends of Smith reacted angrily to Jabbar. The Daily Record reports a shout of "I hope you rot. He was 16 years old. You stole him" was heard, while someone else shouted: "Look what you have done to us."
David Green, Scotland's Procurator Fiscal for homicide and major crime, concluded: "The reckless and dangerous driving of Sami Ula Jabbar has had the most devastating effect on many lives.
"It robbed young Harley Smith of his promising future and left his loving family bereft. The consequences of dangerous driving cannot be overstated, as this case demonstrates so tragically.
"Our Road Traffic Investigation Unit is committed to prosecuting these crimes at the highest level."
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.