A YOUNG driver who killed a Sheffield student in a car crash while trying to ‘intimidate and scare’ a group of youths has been locked up for eight years.
Aminur Rahman, aged 20, of Jubilee Road, Darnall, was jailed for the manslaughter of 18-year-old Abdulla Awil Mohammed, who died of catastrophic head injuries when a car careered into him and fellow young Somalis on Coleridge Road, Darnall.
Abdulla was hit on the head and killed by a road sign which toppled over when Rahman’s car, a red Kia Picanto, mounted the pavement and ploughed into it in March.
Judge Mr Justice Treacy told Sheffield Crown Court the incident was a ‘shocking and deliberately hostile piece of driving’, adding: “What you did can only be described as sheer madness.”
The judge said: “Your use of the car was an act of violence, calculated to confront, threaten, scare and intimidate. You were using the car as a weapon.”
He told the court Abulla, a civil engineering student from Burngreave, was ‘a young man with much potential’.
“That’s the real tragedy of this case - that a life of such potential has been snuffed out by such reckless stupidity.”
David Myerson QC, prosecuting, said the fatal incident happened against a background of tension between Somali and Bengali youths.
“There had been trouble brewing for some weeks, and there had been numerous fights taking place,” he said.
On the day of the tragedy, groups of Somalis from Burngeave and Pitsmoor travelled to Darnall to seek out a Bengali teenager who had been involved in fights.
Mr Myerson said Rahman drove his father’s car down to the scene of disturbances on Staniforth Road in Darnall where he performed a handbrake turn in the street.
Mr Justice Treacy said the killer’s manoeuvre was ‘a precursor’ to the crash later that afternoon.
“Its effect was to block off the escape route to Somali youths who were being chased.
“You left the area, but evidence shows you drove round the area in the company of others, looking for other Somali youths.”
Shortly afterwards Rahman and his passengers visited a house on Nidd Road East, where a Bengali family were mourning the death of their elderly grandfather. Disorder broke out when Somalis tried to force their way inside.
Rahman then drove through Darnall again before arriving at Coleridge Road, where more Somalis had gathered.
“You swerved across the road on to the other side,” the judge said.
“You were deliberately driving in the direction of the group. As you struck the curb your impact was sufficient to blow out your front offside tyre.
“You had started the fatal chain of events by then.”
He said Abdulla was killed ‘almost instantly’ by the falling sign.
Rahman only had around four months’ driving experience, the court heard.
Adrian Waterman QC, defending, said Rahman felt ‘genuine and profound’ remorse, and that he didn’t intend to hurt anyone.
Mr Waterman said Rahman’s schoolteachers described him as a model student.
Rahman admitted manslaughter and was sentenced to eight years in a young offenders institute, and banned from driving for a decade. He will have to complete an extended retest on his release.
Of the passengers, Nizamul Hoque, 19, is awaiting sentence after admitting violent disorder. Mohammed Kahar, 20, was acquitted by a jury of manslaughter, while Muhibur Jahangir, 20, walked free when charges against him were dropped.