A cabbie walked free from court after a jury cleared him of causing the death of a pedestrian by careless driving.
Mohammed Imtiaz, 45, was charged after 28-year-old Vicky Holland died from fatal injuries after she was hit by his Toyota Corolla as she was attempting to cross the A58 Whitehall Road, Wyke, in the early hours back in May last year.
Although there were no eye witnesses to the collision or any CCTV footage the prosecution alleged that Imitiaz hadn’t been paying proper care and attention to what was going on ahead of him as he approached the traffic light junction.
But Imtiaz, of Healds Road, Dewsbury, insisted that he had been paying attention and he did not see Miss Holland at all.
He told the jury that he thought a stone had been thrown by youths causing his windscreen to partially shatter and it was only when he finished his shift and returned home that he discovered the extent of the damage to his vehicle.
Bradford Crown Court heard that Imtiaz had been working as a cabbie for 15 years and had a clean licence.
He said he had been doing about 40mph on the road and the traffic lights were green in his favour.
When the trial began earlier this week prosecutor David Gordon told the jury that the prosecution relied on the evidence of a collision investigator and they could infer from the fact that there had been a collision with Miss Holland that Imtiaz wasn’t paying proper care and attention.
But part way through the trial Imtiaz’s barrister Michael Rawlinson applied to get it stopped on the grounds that there was no case to answer.
He submitted that the evidence was weak and inconsistent and amounted to inadmissible speculation.
After hearing legal arguments in the absence of the jury Judge David Hatton QC decided the trial should continue and when he gave evidence Imtiaz maintained his account that he had not seen any pedestrian at all.
The court heard that Imtiaz carried on driving his female passenger to Halifax after the incident and then picked up three men before making a return journey to Birstall and Gomersal.
On the way back he came across the closed road and emergency services, but said he did not think he had been involved in an accident so he turned his vehicle round and used an alternative route.
When he got home at about 4am he discovered that his vehicle had suffered damage to a headlight, a side panel and the ‘A’ pillar of the windscreen and decided to go to a police station.
The jury took about two hours to return a unanimous not guilty verdict.