News, Culture & Society

Racing drivers killed pedestrian, 78, as he crossed road

A 78-year-old grandfather was killed by two drivers who were racing at twice the speed limit as he crossed the road, a court heard.

Glenn Donovan, 34, was racing his white Volkswagen Scirocco at 79mph through a 40mph zone against BMW driver Stephen Richards, 43, the Old Bailey heard.

Donovan drove through a pedestrian crossing followed a second later by Richards, who struck Mohammed Muqtadir, 78, as he crossed the road on April 7 last year.

Emergency services arrived, but Mr Muqtadir was pronounced dead at the scene on the A12 between Redbridge and Gants Hill in east London.

Mohammed Muqtadir, 78, was killed in April last year as he used a pedestrian crossing. Glenn Donovan, 34, and Stephen Richards, 43, are standing trial at the Old Bailey, accused of causing death by dangerous driving

Jurors were told it was a matter of ‘pure chance’ which of the two drivers hit Mr Muqtadir at about 5.50am.

Although the crossing had a red man, if the BMW had not been driving so fast Mr Muqtadir would have been able to cross in time, the Old Bailey was told.

Sarah Przybylska, prosecuting, said: ‘The car driven by the defendant crossed first, passing within a short distance of Mr Muqtadir.

‘Just one second behind him came Mr Richards’ car which struck Mr Muqtadir, severely injured him and he died at the scene.’

The court heard Richards was driving home from a night shift at work with a passenger, Jamie May.

Ms Przybylska said: ‘Mr May noticed the defendant Donovan’s white Volkswagen Scirocco driving erratically, changing lanes, tailgating.

‘At the Redbridge roundabout Donovan’s car pulled alongside Richards’ car and then in front of him.

‘Mr May saw Donovan’s car swerve, then heard a bang and realised that Richards’ car had hit someone.

‘That sound of someone being hit was the collision between Mr Richards’ car and Mr Muqtadir. He saw Donovan’s car driving off at speed.’

Police arrived and spoke to Richards and Mr May. 

Police collision investigator Clive Austin found both cars were travelling at 79mph when they reached the pedestrian crossing, the court heard.

Emergency services arrived, but Mr Muqtadir was pronounced dead at the scene on the A12 between Redbridge and Gants Hill

Emergency services arrived, but Mr Muqtadir was pronounced dead at the scene on the A12 between Redbridge and Gants Hill

The prosecutor said: ‘Both were braking and so it is likely that each vehicle was travelling at a greater speed on their approach to the crossing.

‘Had the BMW been travelling at the 40mph speed limit it would not have hit Mr Muqtadir, as he would have had time to cross the road before the BMW reached the crossing.’

Police identified Donovan through his registration number and went to his house at 1pm the same day.

He told them he had left work in Stratford at about 5.40am and was driving home at 40-45mph but did not look down at his speed, jurors heard.

Donovan said no one around him was driving erratically. He went to Chadwell Heath police station a few days later, on April 11. 

Ms Przybylska said the two motorists were driving as part of a ‘joint enterprise’ and were both responsible for the death.

She added: ‘This dangerous driving occurred on the spur of the moment. Donovan was driving behind Richards at speed, tailgating, and then undertook him.

‘He drove off at high speed – in excess of 79mph – and then Donovan followed him, matching his speed.

‘Whether you call this road rage or racing, both cars were travelling at grossly excessive speed in a built up area in convoy. It was a matter of pure chance which of them hit Mr Muqtadir.’

Richards, from Romford in east London, has pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mr Muqtadir by his dangerous driving. 

Donovan, also from Romford, admits dangerous driving but denies causing death by dangerous driving.

The trial continues. 

Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.