An uninsured delivery driver of Libyan national, Nezar Abukhrais has killed a female therapist after believing she looked like road bump.
Nezar Abukhrais, ran over Mrs Donna Barrow-Jones, 53, in November 2019, and left her to die after believing he had hit a bump in the road.
While boozing with her husband, Mrs Barrow-Jones had tripped and fallen whilst crossing the road.
Bolton Crown Court heard the 35-year-old was not only uninsured but he also did not have a driving licence when his car ploughed into Mrs Barrow-Jones, 53, in November last year.
Abukhrais pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, causing death while driving without insurance and without a licence but he however maintained that he had been unaware of the collision so charges of leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident were dropped.
Mrs Barrow-Jones, who counselled patients suffering from stress related issues and depression, died at the scene near a pedestrian crossing outside Royal Albert Infirmary in Wigan, Manchester.
In a victim impact statement, Mrs Barrow-Jones’s grieving dad Alan Jones said he was “devastated” and his “whole tranquil world changed” when a police officer knocked on his door at midnight.
He said: “Donna was the kind of person that would help anyone. She was beautiful inside and out.”
“She had everything to live for and it deeply hurts to know we will never see her or speak to her again.”
The tragedy happened at around 8.45pm on Saturday November 23 after the pair had been visiting Mr Barrow’s daughter.
The court heard tests showed that Mrs Barrow-Jones was four times over the legal drink-drive limit when she fell in the road and crawled on her knees to try to get back towards the pavement, the court heard.
The court heard she was in the road for up to 19 seconds when she was hit by a car that did not stop.
Police launched an investigation and debris found identified the vehicle as a black Hyundai i40, which was found the next day showing damage.
The motor was owned by Abukhrais’s brother and police inquiries established it had been used on November 23 to deliver takeaway food for two restaurants.
While Abukhrais’s brother was insured to drive it, the policy did not cover him, the court heard.
He also did not have a driving licence, having qualified in his home country of Libya but not passed a test since moving to the UK six years ago.
The court heard Abukhrais, from Bolton, was arrested on November 26 and said he had not been involved in an accident.
Prosecutors said Abukhrais was 205 metres away when Ms Barrow-Jones went into the road and as he was travelling at 24mph, he should have been able to stop within 32m.
It is likely he would have been able to see her from 80m away, the court heard.
Brenda Campbell, defending, said Abukhrais was not aware he had hit Ms Barrow-Jones until he was questioned by the police.
She said: “He was surprised to find that it was suggested that he had killed somebody in the circumstances where he genuinely didn’t believe he had collided with a person.”
While he was in “a certain state of disbelief”, he accepted responsibility for what had happened, was “desperately sorry” and had expressed “genuine” remorse.
He had no previous convictions and had never been in a police station before being arrested.
While it had been suggested Ms Barrow-Jones would have been visible from 80m away, Ms Campbell said that “in real terms that is indeed a matter of seconds”.
She added: “He simply didn’t see her. He can offer no other explanation, save for if he had seen her, he would have stopped.”
“If he had known he had collided with a person, he absolutely would have stopped.”
The court heard that Abukhrais was not entitled to work in the UK, but he needed money to support his wife and their four children, the youngest of whom was only six weeks old at the time.
Ms Campbell described him as a “committed family man”, who had a degree in law and a master’s degree in business.
She said that his family had faced hardship over the past decade.
Sentencing Abukhrais to an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, Judge Timothy Stead described the case as a “tragedy” for Ms Barrow-Jones and her family.
He said he took into consideration Abukhrais’s guilty pleas, time served while remanded on custody and on bail and the coronavirus pandemic when reaching his sentence.
He also imposed a two-year community order, with 120 hours of unpaid work and 25 rehabilitation activity days, as well as a five-year driving ban and extended test.
He disagreed with the suggestion Abukhrais had a “momentary” lapse of concentration, saying it was “more significant than that”.