Mum of Ilford crash victim forgives guilty trucker

Hassan Sheikh died from injuries he sustained in the crash on the A13 on July 1 2015. Picture: Iqra

Hassan Sheikh died from injuries he sustained in the crash on the A13 on July 1 2015. Picture: Iqra Sheikh - Credit: Archant

The mother of a 21-year-old student who tragically died after a car crash has forgiven the man who pleaded guilty to causing his death by dangerous driving.

Joseph Smith, 55, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Hassan Sheikh, of Bengal Road, Ilford, on the A13 in July last year, at the Old Bailey last week.

But Mr Sheikh’s mother, Rubina Mahmood, has revealed she believes everyone involved in the case had suffered enough.

She said: “We know he feels guilty and we forgive him. We don’t want him to go to jail because he has a family and we don’t want anyone to suffer anymore.

“We don’t want anyone else hurt, that’s not what our son would have wanted.”

At the Old Bailey, the court heard how Smith moved into the middle lane without looking, causing the car behind him to swerve and knock Mr Sheikh’s vehicle into the central reservation near Ferry Lane, Rainham.

Emergency services arrived on the scene just before 2pm on 1 July last year, but the victim was pronounced dead less than an hour later at 2.42pm.

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The victim was only a few weeks away from finishing his business degree at the time of the accident.

Smith admitted one count of causing death by careless driving.

Adjourning sentence until 3 August, Judge Mark Lucraft QC ordered him to stay in touch with the probation service and live at his home address in Wharfdale Road, Kings Cross until that date.

He said: “The reason for these conditions is it’s very likely that your solicitors and the probation service will need to write to you to make contact with you about this case.

“You’ve pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and the court may well pass a custodial sentence.”

Speaking exclusively to the Recorder after Mr Sheikh’s funeral in July last year, Ms Mahmood said: “It’s very painful and things are very hard at the moment.

“He’s my son, he’s only 21 – he would have had his degree after three years of work – he worked so hard.

“We have no words, everyone is in shock.”

The student also worked with his dad Nasir at his fruit and veg business in New Spitalfields Market, Leyton.

“Everyone there knew him and they all liked him – he was a very helpful person,” said Rubina.

“I miss him so much.”