A judge at Bradford Crown Court heard today how 38-year-old Isma Nawaz, from Bradford Moor, lost control of her Vauxhall Astra on Harrogate Road, Apperley Bridge, in June 2020 and crashed into a parked Ford Focus while driving to work her shift at the Esso petrol station in Burley-in-Wharfedale.
Mrs Nawaz, who had two young daughters, died at the scene and although Huddersfield man Mohammed Abbas drove away in his Audi, Judge Jonathon Rose said he could not be sure the defendant had been aware of the collision.
Abbas was later arrested in connection with the fatal incident and eventually pleaded guilty last year to an offence of causing death by dangerous driving.
Today Abbas, who only had a speeding offence from 2018 on his record, was jailed for three years and banned from driving for a total of five-and-a-half years.
Judge Rose was shown CCTV clips which showed Mrs Nawaz driving closely behind Abbas’ Audi A3. In his basis of plea Abbas said he had been “tailgated” by the Astra and Mrs Nawaz had also tried to undertake his car.
In jailing Abbas Judge Rose said there was no doubt that Mrs Nawaz’s death was “entirely avoidable and entirely unnecessary”.
He said neither driver had any reason to be driving at excessive speed on their way to work that early morning nor was there a reason for “racing or challenging” each other.
“The driving of each of you, I must say, was wholly without justification,” he said.
The judge said on a two-lane stretch of the road they had driven in an “aggressive and combative manner” with another motorist describing them as “idiots”.
Abbas claimed that he had been dabbing his brakes to get the Astra to slow down, but Judge Rose suggested that at some point that may have caused Mrs Nawaz to make a sudden steering manoeuvre causing her to lose control and crash.
Judge Rose said he accepted that Abbas, of Richmond Avenue, had expressed genuine remorse and that the incident had had an impact on his mental health.
He said Mrs Nawaz’s death had deprived her husband, parents, siblings and children of their “diamond”.
The judge said no sentence he could impose would ease the pain of the family nor could it be adequate recompense for their loss.
Abbas, who also admitted not having valid insurance for his drive to work that morning, will have to take an extended retest at the end of his driving ban and Judge Rose also made a deprivation order in respect of the Audi A3 he had been driving at the time of the crash.