Man sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving

By Catherine Barkley in Law

Shahram Ali (28) was sentenced to three years and eight months at Hereford Crown Court today, for causing death by dangerous driving.

His Honour Judge Cole told the court that half of this sentence would be custodial and for the other half, Mr Ali would be out on licence.

He also disqualified Mr Ali from driving for four years, and added on an additional 22 months to reflect the custodial sentence. Mr Ali will have to take an extensive re-test at the end of this period.

On November 6th 2015, Mr Ali caused a fatal crash, which resulted in the death of Ian Wemyss, a much-loved 24 year old man from Phocle Green, Ross-on-Wye.

The court heard that on the night of the fatal collision, at approximately 9pm, Mr Ali had been attempting to overtake three articulated lorries, while he was travelling on the A49, shortly before the village of Much Birch.

During this manoeuvre, while he was on the opposite side of the carriageway, he was involved in the head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle, a Ford Fiesta, which was being driven by Ian Wemyss.

Andrew Wallace, prosecuting, stated that in a police interview, Mr Ali had said he was familiar with the road, as he travelled that route often.

Mr Wallace argued that Mr Ali should have never attempted to overtake the lorries.

He added that once Mr Ali started to overtake the three lorries, upon seeing the oncoming car, he should have either pulled in or applied the breaks, but he did not. “He chose to carry on overtaking, ploughing on regardless,” said Mr Wallace.

During the sentencing, Ian’s mother, Evelyn, and sister, Gabrielle, each read a powerful victim impact statement.

Evelyn Wemyss said Ian was her only son. "He was a great joy to us," she said.

Mrs Wemyss also said that more than 500 people attended Ian’s funeral in Manchester and 300 of those travelled from Ross-on-Wye to pay their respects.

She described Ian as a polite and well-spoken young man.

Gabrielle Wemyss told the court that she and her brother had been very close and she described their childhood as "idyllic."

She also spoke about the great kindness her brother possessed, and that he saw the good in everyone. "The world became darker when Ian left," she said.

Kannan Siva, mitigating, said he did not seek to increase the inexplicable grief felt by Ian’s family and friends.

He said that it was “a very bad piece of driving and a bad decision” taken by Mr Ali, to which he said he had conceeded in the guilty plea.

Mr Ali was also injured in the collision, and his partner, whom he is now married to, was hospitalised for four weeks.

After the trial, Gabrielle Wemyss, Ian’s sister, commented: "Any length of sentencing would not justify such a heart-breaking tragedy, time is an inadequate means on which to measure the life my brother lost - however if the time given is deemed appropriate for the crime committed than we have all witnessed a great injustice today."

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