An elderly doctor who left the scene without offering medical help after causing a horror road crash which killed a pedestrian has been given a suspended jail term.
As he travelled east in his Mercedes E220, along the busy A69 in north Cumbria, at around 7.30pm on April 27 2019, Dr Samin Ahmed Khan, 75, reached the village of Warwick-on-Eden.
At that time, husband and wife Robert and Agnes Wilson were walking to a country and western event at nearby St Leonard’s church hall.Both crossed the road, 75-year-old former Navy serviceman Mr Wilson being slightly behind due to mobility issues.
Mrs Wilson, then aged 76, reached the opposite side but as her husband walked across the carriageway, he was struck by the front nearside of Khan’s vehicle.
Mrs Wilson saw the tragedy unfold.
Mr Wilson’s sister Sandra Slack — also heading to the hall — heard the “deafening” impact.
Khan, travelling alone, braked and swerved right in a failed bid to avoid a collision.
Carlisle Crown Court heard he left his vehicle, as did another motorist who then returned to contact the emergency services.
But Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, said: “It was during this time that Dr Khan, who had assessed that Mr Wilson was seriously injured and unconscious, then left the scene without providing medical assistance.
He didn’t provide any details to witnesses and he didn’t wait for the police attendance.”
Mr Wilson was transported to hospital but died from his injuries.
In an impact statement, Mrs Wilson told how she was looking forward to twilight years together with her “best friend” of more than 50 years.
“She recalls the horror of the evening in detail and repeatedly,” said Mr Brookwell.
“She explains how large her husband was and how really, to her, how inexplicable it was this accident or collision occurred.“
Central to her victim personal statement was the fact that Dr Khan got back into his car and “ran from the horror that he had caused”.
Ms Slack echoed that incredulity, describing the incident as “horrendous”, and saying: “How anyone, least of all a doctor, could do this beggars belief.”
The crossing point should have been visible to Khan for more than six seconds, the court heard.He admitted failing to stop and causing Mr Wilson’s death by careless driving.“The defendant can’t explain why he did not notice him until he did,” added Mr Brookwell.
“That is accepted and that is at the heart of the case.”
Overwhelmed by fear and panic, Khan felt ill and left the scene, returning an hour later with his wife.
Tom Gent, defending, said: “He has been affected very badly by it. In fact there isn’t a day or night that he doesn’t think about what happened and the effect it has had on those who are close to Mr Wilson.”
Recorder Mark Rhind QC noted the Wilson family was left “heartbroken”, and also that father-of-two Khan had worked his entire adult life as a doctor, dedicating himself to the care of others and devoting time to others less fortunate.
“It is absolutely clear to me that just as Mr Wilson was, Dr Khan is a thoroughly decent, kind, loving, honest and law abiding man,” said the judge.
“It is not suggested to me that Dr Khan could have done anything to save Mr Wilson’s life because he‘d suffered devastating injuries in the collision. But the least that any right-thinking person would expect of a doctor is that he should have stayed and tried to help.
”An eight-month jail term was suspended for two years after the judge concluded both that a short immediate term would “achieve nothing”, and that Khan had not been thinking only of himself when he left the scene.
He must also complete a six-month curfew and a five-year driving ban.