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Taxi driver jailed for over six years after killing pedestrian by dangerous driving

Updated: May 5

Image credit: Gloucestershire Police

A taxi driver who ran over and killed a 32-year-old Cheltenham man celebrating a Christmas night out has been jailed.

Shakoor Ahmed, 46, had pleaded guilty earlier this month to causing the death of Daniel Beames by dangerous driving.

He appeared at Gloucester Crown Court on 2 May where he was sentenced to six years and 10 months in prison by Judge Rupert Lowe.

Daniel Beames, known to his friends as Beamer, had been on a night out in Cheltenham on Friday 17 December 2021 when he was hit by Ahmed's Toyota Prius as he crossed Lansdown Road at around 10.50pm.

The court heard that Ahmed had been stopped by police 15 minutes before the collision when he had been warned about his speed.

He was handed a Section 59 notice, which allows police to seize and destroy a vehicle if the driver is caught driving in a dangerous manner within the next 12 months.

However, Ahmed failed to heed the warning and continued to drive at excessive speeds.

Picking up a fare in Gloucester, who were travelling to Cheltenham, he boasted to them that he had already been stopped by police that evening for driving too fast.

Emily Evans, prosecuting, told the court: "[The passenger] described how, at one point, there was nothing in front of them and he felt the acceleration of the vehicle push him back into his seat.

"As soon as they got onto the Golden Valley bypass, Ahmed told his passengers that he could do 100 miles per hour along that stretch. He did indeed get up to 100 miles per hour, travelling along the Golden Valley in record time."

Once in Cheltenham, Ahmed continued to drive at speed before getting caught behind a slower moving vehicle on Lansdowne Road. Overtaking the car, Ahmed pulled back in front of it as Mr Beames was crossing the road, colliding with him.

Ahmed was said to have his foot fully on the accelerator moments before the collision, pushing the car to 53 miles per hour on a 40 mile per hour road.

Ms Evans said: "Had he been travelling at 40 miles per hour, the risk of fatality would have been 30 percent. At 53 miles per hour, that increases to an 80 percent chance."

Mr Beames was taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol but died from his injuries the following day.

Daniel's mother, Yvette White, told the court: "Daniel was my only son, my friend, my protector and my pride. He was kind, generous, funny, empathic, sporty, adventurous, intelligent, rational, a great artist, a fantastic landscape gardener, a brilliant chef, extremely loveable and a perfect son.

"Daniel's life has gone, and mine and the rest of my family's lives are ruined. I honestly don't know how to recover from this. The effect this has had, on both my mental health and my physical health, seems to be irreversible. The driver not only took away my son's life but he has destroyed mine as well."

Daniel's partner, Jess Beames, told the court that the family had been handed a life sentence.

Paying tribute to him, she said that her son, Barney, who had been just six at the time of the collision, was still coming to terms with Daniel's death.

Speaking to the court, Jess said: "There is a melancholy that lives on within my bones. I've been stripped entirely of who I am and I will never get used to Dan being dead.

"I'm trying to live my life and find little pockets of joy, but even in the joy, grief holds hands with it and is travelling with me every step of the way. It's taken up a permanent residence inside my soul.

"This remains the longest journey of my life and there isn't a single day where I don't feel a pang of nausea and sadness in my stomach. Dan is still ever present in our house. There's a sunflower in every room and some of his ashes sit on the shelf next to my bed. We say his name every day and Barney loves hearing the stories about Dan's jokes and tricks."

In mitigation, Catherine Spedding told the court that Ahmed accepted he had been speeding and had since relinquished his taxi driver licence.

She added that he currently cared for his elderly parents and an uncle.

Sentencing Ahmed, Judge Lowe told him that the actions of the officers who had stopped him earlier were commendable in trying to slow him down.

He said: "The officers involved were not in possession of a crystal ball and there is no criticism of their humane and appropriate actions at that time.

"In light of what followed, you did not take the issue of your speeding seriously.

"I characterise the dangerous driving came from a gross arrogance on your part, meaning you felt you could speed when you wanted to.

"This was a most awful waste of a young life. If you had been travelling at the maximum speed for the road, this accident might not have happened at all."

Ahmed was told he must serve half of his sentence before being released on licence. He was disqualified from driving, which will last until two years after his release.

Collision investigator Nigel Davies said after the sentencing: "To be stopped by police, most motorists would heed that warning and reflect on their driving but it was no deterrent to Ahmed.

"His selfish actions have lead to the tragic death of this young man, putting Daniel's family through needless heartache and suffering."


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