A DRIVER who caused the death of a popular Whitby teacher has been jailed for four years.
Fasil Ali, 28, of Oxford Road, Middlesbrough was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court to four years’ imprisonment for causing the death by dangerous driving of 65-year-old Leslie Anthony Barrett of Sleights - known affectionately by former pupils as ‘Mr B’.
He was also banned from driving for four years and ordered to take an extended driving test.
Ali was found guilty by York Crown Court on February 19, following the collision on Sunday 8 September 2013.
The court had heard that he was driving his white Mercedes E220 on the A171 Whitby to Guisborough Road near Tranmire when he overtook a vehicle on double white lines.
He collided with Mr Barrett’s Vauxhall Vectra which was travelling in the opposite direction. Mr Barrett was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigating officer, Constable Martin Mulcaster of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Collision Investigation Team, said: “Mr Ali’s dangerous manoeuvre has cost the life of another man and devastated a family in the space of a few seconds.
“I hope the sentence handed down by the court sends a stark warning to anyone who takes irresponsible and dangerous risks on the roads - it is simply not worth it.
“Although Mr Ali now has to face up to actions and justice has been delivered for Mr Barrett and his family, no sentence can compensate for the loss of his life and the distress caused to his family.”
Following the verdict Mr Barrett’s family thanked the Whitby community for its support following the loss of “an incredibly kind, funny and loving man” and also spoke of the family’s suffering just fiver days after what would have been his 43rd wedding anniversary.
In a statement released via the police they said: “Faisal Ali has shown no acceptance of his flagrant disregard for the road or its users. Since the evening of September 8, 2013 and during his trial he has shown only remorse for himself.
Because of his refusal to face up to and accept his guilt, our family has had to endure an agonising 18 months wait and have the harrowing nature of a full trial before a right and just verdict was reached.
Mr Ali caused the death of a wonderful husband who would have celebrated his 43rd wedding anniversary five days ago with his devoted wife Val. We could not have wished for a more caring and funny dad, Grandad and brother.
“There are no winners in this but Mr Ali knew the laws of the road and chose to ignore them. He was not veering or being careless, but made a conscious, reckless and wholly unnecessary decision to overtake. It is only right therefore that he faces the consequences. His sentence will one day come to an end but his actions have dealt us a life sentence.
Roads are made dangerous by people who make them so. We hope this serves as a deterrent for others and may make them think twice about making unsafe decisions which can have such catastrophic repercussions on other innocent road users and their families.
An incredibly kind, funny and loving man has been taken so unnecessarily from us forever, and the pain in our hearts is constant. He was a devoted family man whose smile and energy lit up any room.
Our heartfelt thanks go to North Yorkshire Police for their support and professionalism over the last year and a half. Our police family liaison officer, PC Mark Hutchings has been exceptional and has helped us every step of the way.
Thank you to the community of Whitby and all of “Mr B’s” friends of which there were many, for their kind words friendship, support and tributes – a constant strength for all the family.”