27/10/2015

Unlicensed Minicab Driver Jailed For Killing Passenger

An unlicensed minicab driver has been jailed for eight years for causing the death of a passenger.

Matab Uddin, 59, of Blackshots Lane, Essex was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and fraud.

The court heard how police were called on Sunday, 17 November 2013 at about 1:45am to reports of a man injured on Essex Road.

Officers and London Ambulance Service attended and took the 27-year-old victim, Oliver Farrell, to the Royal London Hospital where he died three days later.

A post-mortem examination took place at Poplar Mortuary on Thursday, 21 November 2013 and gave the cause of death as head injuries.

Officers from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit launched an investigation. Mr Farrell had spent the previous evening celebrating his brother's birthday, and was making his way home from Old Street. He was picked up by Uddin, an unlicenced minicab driver, with previous convictions for minicab touting. 

A short while later, Mr Farrell got out of the cab to use a cash machine, however Uddin drove off, leaving Mr Farrell in Essex Road.

CCTV showed Uddin returning a few minutes later, pulling up next to Mr Farrell, who leaned through the open passenger window. Uddin then drove away at speed, while Mr Farrell clung to the car. After being carried along for about 100 yards, he lost his grip and fell to the ground, suffering a fatal head injury.

Uddin failed to stop at the scene and made off. However the incident was witnessed by a taxi driver, who happened to be driving behind Uddin, and took down his registration number.

CCTV on Kingsland High Road caught Uddin making a dangerous manoeuvre, crossing a central reservation during his getaway. 

The car registration details taking by the taxi driver proved vital in identifying Uddin, who was arrested in connection with the incident after handing himself in at a north London police station later that morning. 

Detective Sergeant Chris Osborne of the Met's Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "I would like to pay tribute to the Mr Farrell's family, who have retained the utmost dignity throughout the whole investigation and court case. My thoughts remain with them.

"This case highlights the dangers posed by unlicensed minicabs. People trying to make their way home, especially late at night should only use pre-booked licensed minicabs or black cabs. This is a tragic case for all involved and it stemmed from the unscrupulous actions of Mr Uddin. Our investigation showed he was illegally touting and on this occasion drove off without any regard for Mr Farrell's safety. He then failed to stop and made clear attempts to flee the scene."

(MH/LM)

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