Man jailed for taxi driver's murder - Bedfordshire


A jury has today, Thursday, 04 October 2012, found Daniel Rogers guilty of the murder of Bedford taxi driver Mehar Dhariwal.

He was sentenced at Luton Crown Court to life imprisonment and is to serve a minimum of 25-years in prison.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but his plea was not accepted by the Crown prosecution Service and he was tried for murder.

Rogers had been out drinking in Bedford on Saturday, 21 January 2012, and went to the offices of AGS in St Peters Street at about 5am.  Mr Dhariwal asked for payment up front and Rogers became abusive and aggressive before attacking him.  Mr Dhariwal went to hospital, but after being treated for his injuries was discharged.

The following Friday Mr Dhariwal fell ill at home, and was taken to hospital, but did not regain consciousness and died in the early hours of Sunday, 29 January 2012.

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service said: "We have worked closely with the police since this investigation was launched.  This was a tragic crime, which led to the untimely death of 61-year-old Mehar Dhariwal.

"Initially 26-year-old Daniel Rogers of The Cloisters, Bedford, denied murdering Mr Dhariwal, but admitted the manslaughter of him.  The jury at Luton Crown Court found that there was overwhelming evidence against Rogers and the jurors were in no doubt that he intended to kill Mr Dhariwal, despite his denials, and therefore convicted him of Mr Dhariwal's murder.

"The Crown Prosecution Service praises the strength and courage of Mr Dhariwal's family who sat through the trial and listened to the horrific details of how he was ferociously attacked and racially abused while trying to do his job as a private hire vehicle driver.

"As a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved for the victim and his family.  We hope that the conviction and sentence will in some way help the family come to terms with this tragic event and move forward with their lives.

"Rogers has today been sentenced to life imprisonment and is to serve a minimum term of 25-years.  However, no matter how long the prison sentence is, we acknowledge that nothing can make up for the loss felt by the family and friends of Mr Dhariwal.  Our thoughts are very much with them at this time."

Detective Chief Inspector Sean O'Neil from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit (BCHMCU) said: "Mehar Dhariwal was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle who was cruelly taken from his family by the violent behaviour of Daniel Rogers who will spend 25-years in prison for his actions.

"This was a tragic death of a taxi driver working hard and offering a service to the public. The attack on him was unprovoked and considerable. Mr Dhariwal had merely asked for a taxi fare to be paid in advance. Before he died of his serious injuries Mr Dhariwal still had sympathy for Rogers and did not want his own family to know that he had been attacked while doing the job he loved.

"Rogers may not have meant to kill but he did, and now Mr Dhariwal's family have to live every day without him. I hope that the knowledge that the person responsible has been brought to justice will go some way in helping them begin to rebuild their lives."