Dangerous driver avoids jail after causing serious injury to motorcyclist near Market Drayton

A dangerous driver has avoided jail after smashing head-on into a motorcyclist - who said the life-changing injuries he sustained had robbed him of his job, partner, independence and dignity.

The crash happened on the A41, pictured. Photo: Google
The crash happened on the A41, pictured. Photo: Google

Rauhan Aziz was sentenced for causing injury by dangerous driving, after crashing into Peter Welch on the A41 Hinstock bypass, near Market Drayton on September 9, 2018.

Mr Welch, who joined the Shrewsbury Crown Court hearing via video link from Peterborough Crown Court, clutching onto his crutches, bowed and shook his head as Judge Peter Barrie passed sentence.

Aziz was found guilty after trial. During the trial, the jury was told that 25-year-old Aziz had been driving a Vauxhall Astra, which was following a van towing a caravan.

The court heard the van had indicated right and slowed down to make a turn, but Aziz decided to overtake the vehicle.

Mr Welch had been travelling on a motorbike along the road in the opposite direction and, while Aziz was overtaking the van, there was a head-on smash.

Mr Welch suffered life-changing injuries to his arms, back and legs.

In Aziz's sentencing hearing, a victim impact statement written by Mr Welch was read out. It said: "Prior to the crash, I was living an independent life. I had been a lorry driver, but I was starting a new job as a health and safety officer. This was with a £10,000 pay rise. It was going to open up my life."

The court heard he enjoyed weight training, dancing and motorbikes before the crash.

It added: "I'm having ongoing medical treatment. I lost five teeth. I have spinal injuries. I have three breaks in my spine. I broke my pelvis. I broke both legs. I had three operations to save my right arm. It was close to being amputated. My mental health has suffered. I suffer from depression. I have emotional episodes and angry outbursts.

"At the age of 57 I've had to move in with my parents. I have no home, no job, no partner, no independence and no dignity.

"I am bitter towards Mr Aziz. He is the one who caused these injuries, yet he has tried to blame me for the crash. I feel he should go to prison.

"That would be a lesson to him and society not to drive in this way."

During the trial Aziz, of Durham Hill, Dover, Kent, claimed he believed it was safe to complete the overtake manoeuvre and he did not see the motorbike coming until it was too late.

The court heard that Aziz was remorseful, and was holding down a good job that "he loves".

Judge Barrie told Aziz: "You are a sensible and intelligent man. It baffles me that you cannot understand that what you did was highly dangerous."

He handed Aziz a 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. Aziz was also ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work, stick to a curfew between the hours of 7pm and 5.30am, and pay £1,000 prosecution costs. He was disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to undertake an extended test if he wants his license back.

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