4x4 driver jailed for manslaughter of pedestrian

11/03/2016

The driver of a 4x4 who ran over two friends in Newcastle-Under-Lyme town centre, killing one of them, has today been sentenced at Stafford Crown Court to seven-and-a-half year's imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Matthew Hancock was out socialising with his friends on 6 June 2015. Around 10pm that evening, they left a bar and began walking along Market Lane, which is a narrow lane leading to a car park.

As they walked along the lane, a Mitsubishi Shogun, which was being driven by 37-year-old Muhammed Ali, was following behind them.

Without notice, the vehicle accelerated forward knocking Mr Hancock and his friend down and driving over them.

Mr Hancock was killed at the scene and his friend received serious injuries.

The defendant was later arrested and claimed that rather than pressing the brake pedal, he accidentally pressed the accelerator pedal which resulted in the car lurching forward and colliding with the victims.

He was later charged with and pleaded guilty to manslaughter and inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Ali was given a six year driving ban and his car confiscated.

Heath Westerman, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

This is a tragic case where a group of friends had gone out socialising on a Saturday night, but would end with one of them losing their life and another with serious injuries.

"As the friends left a bar and headed up Market Lane, they were followed by Mohammed Ali in his 4X4. When they did not move out of his way he continued to drive into the back of them at a low speed. This caused them to fall to the ground under the car.

"Instead of stopping he continued driving forward, driving over Brent Clayton with one of his front wheel and dragging Matthew Hancock under his car so that he was pulled under one of the rear wheels and then running over him thereby causing Mr Hancock's death.

"The defendant admitted that he was fully aware of pedestrians as he drove up Market Lane and that he drove into deliberate collision with them intending to nudge them out of the way. His impatience had tragic consequences.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr Hancock."