Tujmal Akram was so intent on staring at the screen of the phone on his lap that he did not notice 78-year-old Mildred Florence crossing Thicketford Road, Tonge Moor. Jailing Akram for two years at Bolton Crown Court, Judge Timothy Clayson slammed the driver for looking at the phone and wearing earphones to listen to the device.
He said: “This was a persistent course of bad driving during which you deliberately chose to be distracted by your mobile phone, the situation being made even more dangerous by the use of earphones.”
He also banned him from driving for two-and-a-half years.Is that all?
The court heard how Akram, who drives (Ed: Wrong tense, surely?!?) for Moor Lane based Adams Taxis, had picked up two young people and an older woman from Bolton Station at 8.45pm on March 3.
But Lindsay Thomas, prosecuting, said that throughout the three-and-a-half-minute journey the passengers, 15-year-old Libby Jeffery and her 20-year-old brother Matthew Salvin, noticed Akram continually looking down at a mobile phone on his lap.And...that didn't make them pause? Didn't make them think 'Hmmm, seems I got in the wrong cab'?
At the scene of the collision Akram, of Ernest Street, Deane, initially denied having used his phone, telling police: “The lady walked straight into the road.”
But he later pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving. His phone revealed he had been accessing Google Maps during the journey and may have been reading text messages, although he did not make a phone call until after the collision.*sighs*
Naturally, the lawyer's mitigation bears the same relation to the facts as this immigrant does to a genuine cab driver:
Andrew Nuttall, defending, said Akram was “utterly remorseful.
He said: “He accepts that he was wholly wrong in using his phone. His recollection is that he was trying to turn the thing off. He accepts the Crown’s case that he must have been fiddling with the phone for longer than he believed at the time.”
He stressed that Akram, a married father-of-one with no previous convictions, had worked hard as a taxi driver since coming to the UK in 2001.
“He is a hard-working, decent man who never intended to cause any harm,” said Mr Nuttall.No. On ALL counts.
There's something about taxi drivers from certain countries. New York cabbies are as likely to be born in the shadow of the Khyber Pass as the Brooklyn Bridge. It really is an excellently invisible way to get around if you have nefarious intentions. What a wonderful intel gathering opportunity too, if they were all organised somehow. Added to which taxi driving is a nice little earner, which is why it's becoming a bit of a closed shop. It's all a bit of a Farsi.
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