A driver who killed a mum while “showing off” at speeds of up to 110mph in his Range Rover has been jailed for seven and a half years.
Rida Kazem, 24, was driving beautician Yagmur Ozden, 33, and their friend Zamarod Arif, then aged 26, home from a night out in west London when he lost control of the £180,000 car.
Ms Ozden and Mr Kazem were thrown from the car as it ploughed through a Tesla car park, before ending up on a west London railway track. The 33-year-old beautician sadly died of her injuries, while Mr Kazem had to have his left leg amputated below the knee.
Ms Arif, who was the only person in the car wearing a seatbelt, suffered serious injuries, including a broken arm and leg, in the crash, which happened near Ealing in the early hours of 22 August. Members of Ms Ozden’s family gasped and sobbed as CCTV footage of the incident was played at Isleworth Crown Court, west London, on Wednesday (17 May).
The crash happened after Mr Kazem’s black Range Rover Sport SVR hit a top speed of 110mph on the 40mph-limit A40 westbound before he lost control, hitting a curb. Footage shows the airborne car crash across a pavement, through a fence and into a lower-level car park.
Spinning nose-over-rear, the Range Rover hit a stationary Tesla, occupied by a taxi driver who was charging the car, before the wreckage ended up on the tracks at Park Royal Tube station.
Judge Martin Edmunds KC said: “The speed and violence of this crash is simply horrific, and the Range Rover was reduced to a mangled heap of metal.
“I have no doubt you were showing off to your passengers – showing off your powerful car but also what you thought of as your superior driving skills. What is all too clear is your skills were all too inadequate.”
The court heard that Mr Kazem refused to allow an analysis of a blood sample taken while he was in hospital but the judge said he could not conclude he had been driving with excess alcohol.
Prosecutor Nicholas Hearn said he had previous speeding convictions, including one recent offence for driving 95mph in a 50mph zone and was banned from driving for six months in November 2020.
The 24-year-old sat staring straight ahead as the prosecutor read out victim impact statements, including one from Ms Ozden’s 13-year-old daughter Melek, who now lives with her grandmother.
She said: “I’m still in shock. Every time I see a Range Rover I remember the accident, so I can’t get away from it.”
The court heard that Mr Kazem had suggested to the author of a pre-sentence report and his psychologist that he had not been driving the Range Rover and the judge said he had “found no evidence of real remorse”.
But David Rhodes, defending, said the driver, who worked for a family jewellery business and had been accepted onto a university law course, “accepts through his guilty pleas that he was the driver”.
He said: “He knows he has taken a life in Yagmur Ozden and left a young girl without a mother and he knows he very nearly killed himself in that accident.”
The 24-year-old, from Greenford, west London, was handed a seven and a half year jail term after previously pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Mr Kazem will serve at least two-thirds of the sentence and has been banned from driving for more than 12 years. He entered the dock at Isleworth Crown Court on crutches as members of his own family and the relatives of the victims watched on, before smiling to the public gallery after he was sentenced.
Speaking outside court after the sentencing, 13-year-old Melek said: “I’m not really happy with the sentence today but I really did feel sorry for him. When we left the court, he did say something really offensive and it just doesn’t give my mum any justice.
“It’s really offensive and it didn’t show he was sorry and there was no respect and the outcome was horrible and I don’t really like the sentence. Hopefully my mum does get justice some day.”
Ms Ozden’s sister Maya Kodsi, 37, added: “We left the court in so much pain. They took the decision, it’s not enough and it’s not fair. There’s no punishment in this country.”