Banned driver jailed over crash which killed friend

22/03/2013

A driver of a high performance car has today been sentenced to nine years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty of causing the death of his friend as they raced their cars through the streets of Wolverhampton in July 2012.

Jatinder Paul, 26, pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court on 26 February to causing death by dangerous driving and driving whilst disqualified. 

The defendant, who was banned from driving after he was convicted of drink driving in 2011, was driving an Audi R8 car while the victim, Rajesh Chalotra was driving an Audi TT, when they began to race each other. As they travelled along Finchfield Road West, Wolverhampton, the victim lost control of his car and crashed. The victim would later die from his injuries.

Paul fled from the scene and handed himself to the police three days later when he was arrested and charged.

James Jenkins, Sector Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"In 2011, Jatinder Paul was disqualified from driving and had he abided by that punishment this fatal tragedy could have been avoided. However, he clearly thought that he was above the law and today he will have to face the severe consequences of his actions.

"The deceased, Rajesh Chalotra, was with friends at a local pub when the defendant arrived in an Audi R8 car. After a night of socialising together, they decided to visit another public house in the city.

"Rather than leaving their cars behind and catching a taxi, they made the fatal decision of getting into their high powered and high valued cars.

"As they drove through Wolverhampton, both drivers encouraged one another to race, which not only put themselves, but their passengers, other road users and pedestrians in danger.

"Their dangerous driving ultimately led to the defendant's car clipping Mr Chalotra's car, which led to him losing control and colliding with a wall and a lamppost. He suffered serve head injuries which would prove fatal.

"Rather than stop and call for the emergency services and help his friends, Paul drove past the stricken car and fled the scene. He would later hand himself to the police three days after the incident.

"This prosecution and sentence should send out a clear message regarding the extreme danger posed by young men driving high performance cars with criminal disregard for the safety of others."