Jailed: Motorist who ran over elderly pedestrian after being told not to drive

Abdul Hafiz, 61, has been jailed for 20 months. Picture:: Met Police

Abdul Hafiz, 61, has been jailed for 20 months. Picture:: Met Police - Credit: Archant

A motorist who ran over an elderly pedestrian after ignoring medical advice not to drive because of an eye condition has been jailed for dangerous driving.

Abdul Hafiz, 61, of Westrow Drive, Barking, continued to drive despite being told by an optometrist that he must not until he had surgery for cataracts in his eyes and failed a roadside eye test following the accident in Fanshawe Avenue, in December 2017.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard the 73-year-old pedestrian was crossing the road, with the aid of his walking stick, when Hafiz failed to see him despite the man raising his hand to get his attention.

The victim was left paralysed from the waist down after the crash.

When officers tested Hafiz's eye sight he could only read a number plate from a distance of 4.1 metres rather the legal requirement of 20.1 metres.

He had been warned two months before the crash not to drive until he had the surgery.

Last week a jury unanimously found him guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving following a seven day trial.

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He was jailed for 20 months and disqualified for driving for three years and 10 months.

The victim sadly died in March this year from a condition unrelated to the injuries he sustained in the accident.

PC Wilkinson from the Met's Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC), who investigated the accident, said: "This case highlights the importance on having regular eye tests especially for older drivers. It is imperative that drivers follow the advice given to them by their medical practitioners.

"Mr Hafiz had been expressly told that he should not drive as he had a number of issues with his eyesight and completely disregarded this advice."

Superintendent Andy Cox, also from the Met's RTPC, added: "The Met is committed to tackling dangerous driving on our roads and as part of Vision Zero, the Roads and Transport Command will seek to identify high-risk drivers and riders who pose a significant risk to other road users and pedestrians and remove them from our streets."

Mandy McGregor, head of transport policing at Transport for London (TfL), has issued a warning to drivers.

She said: "As part of Operation Revoke, and our wider Vision Zero commitment, we are cracking down on drivers who are not competent to be driving because of medical grounds. We are working to revoke their licences and keep these drivers off the roads."