"he collided directly with Mr Jatin who was still recording"
Rajanjeet Sangha, aged 24, Edgbaston, Birmingham, received a suspended sentence after he ran over his best friend whilst test driving a VW Golf.
The incident happened after 10:30 pm on March 5, 2020, in Sir Richard’s Drive.
Jatin Jaiswal got out of the VW Golf, which was owned by another friend who got in the front passenger seat. Meanwhile, Sangha got behind the wheel.
Jatin decided to film his friend.
Lucinda Wilmott-Lascelles, prosecuting, said that Sangha pulled off “aggressively” towards the end of the road and the junction with Hamilton Avenue.
He then drove back to where Jatin was standing and filming.
Sangha collided with his friend, who captured the horrific incident on his phone.
She said: “He had accelerated significantly.
“As the defendant approached a left-hand turn in the road, due to the speed he lost control and mounted the grassed area.
“Not able to brake in time he collided directly with Mr Jatin who was still recording on his phone.”
A neighbour called an ambulance when he looked out of his window and saw Sangha pleading with the victim to get up.
Jatin suffered bruising to both sides of his brain as well as fractures to his skull, face, pelvis, shoulder and legs.
Jatin, a final-year university student, described his life as a “nightmare”, saying that everything had been put on hold.
Sangha initially claimed the brakes failed but later admitted he was driving too fast and pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Police confirmed the brakes on the VW Golf were in working order.
Meanwhile, an expert calculated that Sangha was travelling between 68 and 83mph on the 30mph residential street.
In a statement, Jatin said:
“To say the collision was life-changing is an understatement, it feels like I’m permanently disabled and my life, which was bright and promising, has been completely halted and my future looks bleak.”
He went on to say that he was no practically housebound, adding:
“Life at times is a nightmare, before I was an active final year student with everything to live for.”
Haroon Khattak, defending, said his client showed instant “remorse and regret”.
He also told Birmingham Crown Court that Sangha had taken it upon himself to have extra driving lessons, despite having a licence, in order to rebuild his confidence on the road.
Mr Khattak added: “It is highly unlikely this young man will be before the courts again, he has always lived a law-abiding life.
“It really does hurt to read about such life-changing injuries particularly because he was the root cause of them.
“This was an isolated incident highly unlikely to repeat itself. He is not a danger to the public.”
Recorder Michelle Heeley QC said: “You nearly killed your friend.
“You initially sought to blame the brakes. It wasn’t the car, it was your fault and you will have to deal with the consequences.
“This was borne out of a desire to show off rather than any malign intent.”
The judge took into account several mitigating factors, including a positive character reference from Edgbaston MP Preet Gill.
Sangha was sentenced to 21 months in prison, suspended for two years.
He must carry out 20 days of rehabilitation activity, adhere to a three-month curfew and pay costs of £1,500. He was banned from the roads for two years.
Judge Heeley did not award compensation stating that the issue could be resolved through civil proceedings.