Trainee lawyer left man in wheelchair after jumping red traffic light in rush back home

A trainee lawyer left an innocent man in a wheelchair after he jumped a red light in a rush to get home.

Sabbir Ahmed, 24, impatiently flashed his headlights at another car waiting at a set of red traffic lights before illegally overtaking him and ploughing into an oncoming Toyota Yaris.

Victim Mohammed Moneeb – a passenger in the Yaris – suffered serious injuries in the 1am impact, including a broken arm and femur and a bleed on his brain.

His injuries resulted in a two-week stay in hospital and two operations.

He was in a wheelchair for two months after the collision and had to be helped by friends and family to do even simple tasks.

The Yaris driver was forced to take two months off work and said he felt ‘worried’ about another accident when he heard cars with loud exhausts.

He also had to undergo two operations due to his injuries.

At the time of the crash, Ahmed, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, was studying a law degree at an undisclosed university and he subsequently attained a 2:1.

He is due to start a Legal Practice Course (LPC) as part of a training contract, but a court heard it is feared his ambitions to be a solicitor are now in jeopardy.

At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester Ahmed faced up to five years in jail after admitting causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

However, he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was further banned from driving for two years and ordered to pay £350 costs. Insurers are thought to have paid compensation to the victims.

The accident occurred at 1.10am on May 13 2021 after Ahmed stopped at a set of traffic lights in his VW Passat at a junction on Featherstall Road South in Oldham whilst on his way home.

John Richards prosecuting said: “He became impatient and started flashing his headlights ahead, seemingly in an apparent attempt to make the traffic lights change to green faster. He then overtook a stationary car in front of him and jumped the lights at speed.

“Mr Moneeb, was a passenger in Toyota Yaris being driven by his friend as they were approaching the box junction coming from the adjacent road, when the defendant collided with the passenger side of the vehicle.”

Mr Moneeb was said to have since made a full recovery from his injuries.

But in a statement to police he said: “I don’t remember the collision but I remember waking up in hospital and had a problem using my legs and lungs. Up until August last year I was still struggling to slowly get better and I frequently suffer flashbacks.

“I have a relative who suffered the same fate, a bleed on the brain, and it has left me scared. I needed to use crutches and a wheelchair for a while and this whole thing has taken away my independence away from me.”

The Yaris driver – known only as Mr Aftab – said he remembered waking up in hospital after the crash but suffered no injuries. His Toyota was written off.

In mitigation for Ahmed, defence lawyer Sonia O’Brien said: “My client has expressed remorse from the moment this happened and if he could take it back in a heartbeat he would. After the crash, he helped the individuals at the scene until the ambulance arrived, despite still being in shock.”

She added: “When he left his house earlier, at no point did he think that he would be involved in such a serious road accident.

“It was a matter of seconds between him waiting at the junction and then him hitting the car. Although Mr Ahmed tried to stop, he failed to in time and this in part was due to the poor tread of his tyres.

“He spoke freely to the police after the incident and volunteered himself for an interview. Despite the trauma he still managed to get a 2.1 in his degree. He plans to take the LPC exam to become a solicitor but fears his legal career could have already ended as a result of this mistake.”

Ahmed currently lives at his family home in Oldham and works for his father’s business.

Sentencing him, the judge Miss Recorder Abigail Hudson said: “People that normally come before this court for these offences under similar circumstances tend to have a raft of previous convictions. But you have five glowing character references, one of which described you as ‘always being on the sunny side of life’.

“It is also clear to me that you have become weighed down by the guilt of what happened. But ‘there was a deliberate decision to ignore the rules of the road and you were going way too fast’.

“Although we are all thankful that Mr Moneeb and Mr Aftab were not killed, you and I both know that this was down to luck rather than good planning. This was a serious incident in which made a deliberate decision to jump that red light and somebody could have been killed.

“You say you felt unable to stop at the time and you have expressed significant remorse. But you are lucky the victim did not die.”