"she deliberately lay down in the road"
A taxi driver ran over and killed a drunk woman who was lying in the road after failing to see her.
Anis Mohamed, aged 64, of Leicester, had been taking a pregnant woman to hospital in the early hours of January 11, 2020.
However, he did not see 37-year-old Natasha Baker lying in the road.
David Outterside, prosecuting, said: “At around 4:04 am the defendant’s Vauxhall Vivaro seven-seater drove over the victim who was lying intoxicated in the road.
“Shortly before 4 am an ambulance driver saw the victim staggering on the footpath in Coleman Road, looking as if she was drunkenly heading home from an evening out.
“An Uber driver also saw her on the footpath but she held up her hands and he slowed, not knowing what she was doing.
“She walked into the road gesturing with her hands telling him to ‘go away and turn around’.
“The defendant was behind the Uber, taking a man and his wife – who was 38 weeks pregnant and in considerable pain – to hospital to check if she was going into labour.
“He saw the Uber in front of him with brake lights on and another vehicle, a Citroen, on the opposite side of the road at a standstill.”
A passenger in the Citroen filmed the victim. She was heard saying:
“I don’t care, run me over, I don’t care.”
When she lay in the road, the Uber driver reversed back around Mohamed’s cab.
The Citroen’s dashcam footage showed the minibus accelerate and “shoot forwards”, running over Miss Baker.
Miss Baker suffered fatal injuries and later died at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.
Mohamed later told police he was concentrating on looking at the side of his minibus because he did not want the Uber driver to hit his wing mirror.
He failed to see Miss Baker laying in the road, despite a four-second opportunity to have done so.
Miss Baker had been drinking at the Fountain pub earlier that evening.
Mohamed admitted causing death by careless driving.
Judge Timothy Spencer QC said:
“Miss Baker clearly comes from a close and loving family and the impact of her death has movingly been described in court.
“At the point of the collision, she deliberately lay down in the road, effectively blocking traffic.
“Why she did that, no-one knows. It may have been something to do with drinking or even some medical condition.”
He told the taxi driver: “The essence of this case is that you shouldn’t have been looking at your side mirror, but at the road ahead.
“As a taxi driver, you have an exemplary and impeccable driving record.
“I have read 26 references about you.
“You’re a pillar of the community and rarely have I had to sentence such an outstanding member of society – it’s a great tragedy it should come to this and it gives me no pleasure.”
In mitigation, Grahame Jones said:
“He feels profound guilt about this appalling tragedy and takes full responsibility.”
“Since this happened there’s been a lot of heartache for both families, their extended families and friends.
“This was a four-second lapse of judgement and there’s not a single aggravating feature put forward by the prosecution.
“He’s never had a single point on his driving licence or any complaints from customers; he’s a completely ordinary gentleman.
“He has a wife, four children and six grandchildren, he’s an honest, Godfearing, respectful and well respected man in his community.”
Mr James said that taking into account all the circumstances, including Miss Baker’s actions, the incident “in some ways was a perfect storm”.
He said: “My client was anxious about a pregnant woman, possibly being in labour, and a car stopped in front of him.
“As Miss Baker’s family say, the road should have been better illuminated.
“He didn’t see anyone in the road in front of him or he would have stopped.
Of the victim, he said: “It seems no-one had any argument with Miss Baker, no-one confronted her that evening and tragically the family will never have a full explanation as to why this happened.”
Leicester Mercury reported that Mohamed was jailed for two months.
He was also banned from driving for one year.