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Driver Jailed For Causing Fatal Crash Which Also Left Woman With Brain Injury

Taiyab Mehmood Was Sentenced To Six Years In Prison for the Crash which Killed Grahame Smith and Left Gillian Heptinstall Seriously Brain Injured

06.12.2016

A woman left with a brain injury following a crash which killed her partner and injured her friend has spoken of her relief after the driver was sentenced to six years and four months in prison.

Gillian Heptinstall, and partner Grahame Smith, from Doncaster, and a friend were travelling home along Pitsmoor Road, Sheffield, after an evening out in Edale when a car driven by 22-year-old Taiyab Mehmood ploughed into them on December 22 last year.

Grahame, 58, was trapped in the wreckage as emergency services tried for 90 minutes to cut him free. He died from his injuries shortly after arriving at Northern General Hospital, while his friend, the front seat passenger, was injured and Gillian, then-57, who was travelling in the back of the car, suffered a serious brain injury, fractured elbow, broken arm and fingers and fractured ribs.

On November 1 at Sheffield Crown Court, Mehmood, who was uninjured in the crash but left two passengers in his own vehicle needing hospital treatment, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court today to six years and four months in prison. He was also banned from driving for eight years and two months.

Gillian’s family have now instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to take legal action against Mehmood’s insurers in order to help her access specialist brain injury rehabilitation and support after the crash.

Gillian, who spent 10 days in hospital following the crash, said: “I’m still struggling to come to terms with losing Grahame and the future we would have shared together. My life has irreparably changed and has become much more limited while I try to adjust to my injuries and work on my rehabilitation.

“The crash obviously had a huge impact not just on me, but my family and friends too; so it has come as a relief that the driver pleaded guilty so we weren’t forced to relive the events of that night.

“Now I am focusing on my recovery and adjusting to a very different life to the one I had hoped and planned for.”

The couple had been planning to retire together in early 2016 when the crash happened.

Mehmood of Nottingham Street, Sheffield had been speeding along Pitsmoor Road at 10.45pm when he lost control on a bend crashing into the couple’s car.

Expert Opinion
“Gillian and Grahame were on the cusp of retirement when Mehmood’s reckless act destroyed their future.

“To add insult to injury, Mehmood initially pleaded not guilty to his crimes meaning Gillian and the other survivors had to face the harrowing prospect of reliving their trauma at trial.

“While Mehmood’s guilty plea came as a great relief to Gillian and her family, that and today’s sentence cannot begin to undo the damage he has caused to his victims.

“Of course nothing can turn back the clock, but we are now working to secure Gillian the ongoing rehabilitation and support she needs as a result of her injuries.

“We hope today’s sentence serves as a lesson to others of the tragic and far-reaching consequences of dangerous driving.”
Claire Pilsworth, Senior Associate Solicitor

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a road traffic accident, our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation. Visit our Road Traffic Accident Compensation page for more information.