A Wolverhampton cab driver has been found guilty of causing death by careless driving and has been warned that he could face jail time.
Moqadas Hafeez, 39, knocked down 91-year-old Ukrainian born Mychajilo Dudok as he crossed a street within the inner Stourbridge ring road at around lunchtime of September 22 2017.
Hafeez, who was driving his VW Passat, didn’t see Mr Dudok until it was too late, but made the claim that the victim had fallen back off the pavement into the path of his vehicle.
Hafeez’s claims were challenged by Mr Paul Spratt, prosecuting, who accused him of lying in a bid to avoid responsibility for the death.
Spratt said: “As the pedestrian crossed the third lane and got close to completing the crossing he was hit by the taxi.”
Witness to the collision was Joan Lester, who was in the middle lane alongside Hafeez. She told the jury: “As I turned I saw an older man crossing the road. He was stooped over and moving very slowly.
“When I first saw him he was in the first of the three lanes he had to cross.
“I said to my husband: ‘I don’t know if he(Mr Dudok) is going to make it.’
“I thought I was going to have to stop but as I started to slow he cleared my lane and moved into the third lane where there was a collision between him and another car.
“I had started to slow but the other car had not done anything.
“The man stepped into its lane and it him him.”
Hafeez maintained that he did not see the victim until he had crossed the road, but the prosecution insisted that he could of stopped in time to avoid hitting the pensioner.
Hafeez said: “the first time I saw him he was on the pavement. I didn’t see him cross the road.
“As I approached him he fell onto the wing of the car, hit the wing mirror and fell onto the ground. I got out and asked him if he was OK. He said: ‘I am OK and want to go home’.”
Mr Spratt said: “there was no obstruction and no vehicle between you and him. You were distracted in some way and were not paying proper attention to the road in front of you and collided with the man as he was crossing the road.”
Senior forensic expert in the Police Collision Investigation Unit, Sgt Adam Green, said: “if the pedestrian had fallen, or even stumbled, I would expect a different pattern of damage on the Taxi because he would not have been moving in the same way as when walking.
“The collision occurred as a result of the driver failing to react as the pedestrian crossed the carriageway. There was sufficient time for the driver to bring his vehicle to a halt.”
The cab was travelling at an estimated speed of 28mph in a 30mph zone according to experts. At the point of seeing Mr Dudok, Hafeez braked to 18mph, which was the speed of contact.
Dudok was taken to hospital but died from multiple injuries.
As reported in the Express and Star, Hafeez was unanimously found guilty and remanded on bail for pre sentence report until February 13.
Judge Simon Ward said: “I will then decide what is the appropriate sentence but do not rule out prison.”