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Athlete death driver sentenced

PUBLISHED: 10:01 02 April 2010 | UPDATED: 21:47 02 July 2010

Laurence Dordoy

Laurence Dordoy

A BMW driver who killed a former English walking champion when she pulled out in front of his motorbike was spared jail this week. Sana Mahmood, 23, collided with Laurence Dordoy, 53, as he rode home from the Britvic depot where he worked in Beckton, east

A BMW driver who killed a former English walking champion when she pulled out in front of his motorbike was spared jail this week.

Sana Mahmood, 23, collided with Laurence Dordoy, 53, as he rode home from the Britvic depot where he worked in Beckton, east London.

Mr Dordoy, of Gidea Park, was airlifted to Queen's Hospital, Romford following the horror smash at the junction of Wood Lane and Gosfield Road in Dagenham.

But the athlete, a veteran race walker with Ilford Athletics Club, later died from his injuries.

Judge William Kennedy sentenced Mahmood on Monday to nine months jail but suspended the term for one year.

He said: "The tragedy of that moment and the effect that it has had on the lives of so many people is incapable of understatement."

Mahmood's barrister Stephen Willmer said she suffers flashbacks, nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The judge said: "The psychiatric report that I have read, and which Mr Willmer has read out in part, puts beyond doubt that for every day of this young woman's life, the shadow of these few seconds will be over her head.

"Perhaps that is as dreadful a punishment as any court could ever impose.

"Liberty retained is only true liberty when it is enjoyed in comfort. There is no comfort here."

Judge Kennedy ordered Mahmood, of Yevele Way, Emerson Park, Hornchurch, to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work, pay £750 costs and disqualified her from driving for two-and-a-half years.

She admitted causing death by careless driving

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard disaster struck on May 29 last year when Mahmood was ferrying her nine-year-old brother to a funfair.

Mahmood was unsure of the route and made a U-turn before pulling into the path of Mr Dordoy. Accident investigators estimated the speed of the collision at less than 20mph.

The barrister said Mahmood was a shadow of her former bubbly character since Mr Dordoy's death.

"She gets flashbacks of the motorcycle hitting the car," he said.

"She has lost her motivation and drive. She believes that she has lost everything now."

Floral tributes have been left at the scene in memory of Mr Dordoy who, aged 15, was crowned English schools walking champion in 1970.

Just six weeks before his death he picked up a gold medal after his team triumphed in the national 20km championship in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

Mr Dordoy, who was also a London Marathon regular raising money for several charities, leaves behind his partner Sheila.

Tributes have poured in to a special Ilford Athletics Club webpage.


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