MANCHESTER: A driver who killed a man riding a quad bike has been told by a judge that he will have to live with the fact that he took the life of a friend. Mohammed Billal Khan was on the wrong side of the road, heading straight towards an oncoming car, when he swerved into Tariq Khan’s quad bike.
According to a BBC report, just days earlier Billal Khan had filmed himself driving at 100mph on a 30mph road and uploaded the footage to TikTok.
At Bolton Crown Court Mohammed Billal Khan was jailed for five years and six months after admitting causing death by dangerous driving and dangerous driving.
The court heard how. in a high-powered Mercedes, 27-year-old Khan overtook quad bike rider Tariq Khan as they approached the brow of a hill on Green Lane, Bolton, on the evening of May 6, 2020.
But a car was coming in the opposite direction and Billal Khan, who was on the wrong side of the road, swerved left to avoid it, hitting 36-year-old Mr Khan’s bike, forcing it to clip a pavement. Mr Khan was thrown into a lamppost.
The well-known father-of four, who ran the Pound 4 Pound boxing gym on Sidney Street, Bolton, was not wearing a helmet and suffered horrendous injuries, quickly lost consciousness and died.
Brian Berlyne, prosecuting, told the court how, on that evening, around 7pm, Mr Khan and his friend Abid Sarwar decided to go for a ride on their quad bikes.
After riding from Farnworth towards Bolton on Manchester Road they reached the junction with Green Lane, where they encountered Billal Khan, who was driving a Mercedes.
The court heard that they decided to turn up Green Lane, intending to pull over further along in order to have a chat.
The quad bikes set off up the road with the Mercedes following. But as the bikes approached a zebra crossing and a railway bridge just before the brow of a hill, Billal Khan decided to overtake the bikes.
On the wrong side of the road he passed Mr Sarwar and then continued, on the wrong side of the road, towards Mr Khan’s bike. But tragedy struck as, heading towards them on the other side of the brow, was Hekmat Ahmed, driving his wife and children in his Toyota Yaris.
He spotted the Mercedes heading straight towards him.
“At that moment Mr Ahmed believed Billal Khan’s Mercedes was going to collide with his car,” said Mr Berlyne.
“He could see that Billal Khan was driving at excessive speed and Mr Ahmed described the way in which Billal Khan was driving as so dangerous that it seemed, in his words, suicidal.”
Billal Khan later told police that he was driving at around 40mph but investigators have been unable to establish the speed he going.
Mr Ahmed braked hard and sounded his horn while he and his passengers screamed in fear, believing there would be a head-on collision. Billal Khan braked and swerved to his left, colliding with the quad bike.
Mr Khan suffered unsurvivable head injuries and the court heard from his widow, Sanchia Dyson, that she learnt of the crash from neighbours who had seen messages posted on Facebook stating that he had died.
“I feel like my future has been robbed,” she told the court in a victim statement.
Billal Khan stopped at the scene and when police examined his phone, they found a video he had made of himself three days earlier.
It showed him driving the same Mercedes, which he had borrowed from another friend, at 100mph on St Helens Road and Lever Street. Holding the phone, Billal Khan filmed the speedometer as he sped along the 30mph limit roads and he then sent the video to others and even uploaded it to TikTok.
When questioned by police, Billal Khan, of Manchester Road, Bolton, said he had struck the quad bike unintentionally and admitted filming himself driving at high speed in the earlier incident.
Balbir Singh, defending, stressed that Mr Khan and Billal Khan, who is of previous good character, were friends.
“What can be said with certainty is, what happened that day on Green Lane was not intended. It was not foreseen by Billal Khan although, I readily accept that he should have realised that there was a danger in overtaking at that particular spot,” said Mr Singh.
“No sentence that this court imposes could, in fact, match the grief and punishment that he has imposed upon himself in thinking about these matters over the last two years.”
Sentencing Billal Khan and banning him from driving for six years and 33 months, The Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh, told him that his decision to overtake on such a dangerous spot on Green Lane had been “catastrophic”.
“You will, of course, live with the fact that you were responsible for taking the life of a friend,” the judge told him.
“Of course, for the family of Tariq Khan, the emotional pain that they will suffer will be deep and enduring.”
He added: “Nothing that this court can do can put right the harm that has been done and the sentence that must follow is not intended to and could never reflect the value of the life which has been tragically lost.
“Those who must continue to live with the loss of a loved one, and perhaps some members of the public, may feel that in cases such as this, the sentence that the court is able to impose inadequately reflects the loss caused.
“I make it clear, however, that in determining the appropriate sentence, I am required to have regard, not only to the limitations on sentencing in cases of this sort imposed by Parliament, but also to the sentencing guidelines issued by the Sentencing Council.”