The Labour law lord, Lord Ahmed of Rotherham yesterday was jailed for 12 weeks (of which he must serve six behind bars) for an act of dangerous driving. He admitted sending three, and receiving two, text messages while driving in excess of 60mph, in the dark, in the fast lane of the southbound M1 motorway.
Two minutes after sending his final text message, Lord Ahmed’s Jaguar hit a stationary vehicle in the fast lane, killing its driver, Martin Gombar. How was this two minute time period established? Did Ahmed’s Jaguar have a black box installed? How else could the two-minute period be established beyond doubt?
Police evidence indicates a three minute period between Lord Ahmed’s final text message and him calling the emergency services on his mobile phone. This could have been established accurately from phone company records.
Lord Ahmed’s solicitor, Steve Smith, has said that after the collision, Ahmed was ‘rendered momentarily unconscious‘ by the collision. If this is true, then in just 60 seconds the following occurred: Lord Ahmed’s Jaguar hit the stationary vehicle, Lord Ahmed passed out, regained consciousness having sustained a ‘very serious head injury‘, established what had occurred, coped with the shock of the situation, ensured his family were safe and then called the emergency services. All in just 60 seconds.
Was Ahmed anticipating a response to his final message at the time of the collision (thus knowingly driving while distracted)? Was he in the process of tapping out another message (never sent) at the time of the collision?
Is it possible to disengage Lord Ahmed from Martin Gombar’s death? If person A drives a car in to person B, killing person B, can it be construed under any circumstances that person A did not cause the death of person B? Surely no flight of the imagination can uncouple these two events. Yet, Lord Ahmed’s solicitor is of the opinion ‘it is not his responsibility, it is not his fault‘.
In the context of the emerging data, it’s very disturbing to hear court judges make statements like: ‘It’s clear the dangerous driving had no causal link to the accident‘.