Drug dealer who killed his passenger in high-speed crash jailed for more than 11 years

A heroin dealer who caused a high-speed crash and then tried to ditch his drugs as his passenger lay dying has been jailed for more than 11 years.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 5:15 pm

Rizwan Attaullah was behind the wheel of a VW Golf and travelling at least double the 30mph limit when he smashed into a parked car in Kirkhamgate before careering into the path of a oncoming tractor on the evening of September 9, 2018, Leeds Crown Court was told.

Neither Attaullah or his passenger, 21-year-old Ali Ahmed, were wearing seat belts. Mr Ahmed died at the scene.

Prosecuting the case, Jonathan Sharp, told the court that Attuallah was injured himself in the crash, but was conscious and his first reaction as the smashed vehicle came to a rest was to search the foot well and dashboard to get rid of the heroin he had been dealing that night.

Rizwan Attaullah was a heroin dealer who showed no remorse, a court heard.

Attaullah, who is now 30, admitted a charge of causing death by dangerous driving and possession of heroin with an intent to supply.

Outlining the case, Mr Sharp said that Attaullah had been in Wakefield that evening delivering heroin.

At 9.04pm he received a text message on a phone from an associate telling him to leave Lupset as two police cars were in the area.

Heading out of Wakefield along Batley Road, witnesses said he was driving at speed and went through a red light.

The scene where Mr Ahmed died.

One piece of footage from a private CCTV camera clocked him at 76mph in a 30mph area.

As he reached Batley Road in Kirkhamgate, he came round a corner and was unable to negotiate a vehicle parked half on the road and half on the pavement, smashing into it and causing "catastrophic" damage to the passenger side.

Pushing the parked car 18 metres from its parked position, the VW Golf spun into the path of the tractor causing further damage.

The tractor driver, who was left with minor injuries, told police that he could see the VW Golf losing control just before the collision.

Investigators estimated he had been driving at least 65 mph on the 30mph stretch at the point of impact.

Mr Sharp said that such was the extent of the damage to the VW Golf that even if Mr Ahmed had been wearing a seat belt, is it unlikely he would have survived.

Twenty-four high-purity wraps of heroin were found by police that Attaullah had tried to discard in the immediate aftermath, along with a mobile phone used for arranging drug drop offs and £540 in mixed notes in his pocket.

Mr Sharp said it was evident that Attaullah was a member of drug-dealing gang. He also had no insurance on the VW Golf.

Following his arrest, he gave a 'no comment' interview and initially denied any charges, but changed his pleas to guilty in November of last year.

A heartfelt statement read out by Mr Ahmed's sister said his death had "left a hole in our lives".

Talking directly to Attaullah in the dock, she told him: "I feel like you were leading him along the wrong path, but he looked up to you.

"You have taken him away from us and you have no remorse, guilt or humanity. For that reason I will never forgive you."

He also admitted a charge of coercive control, GBH and attempting to pervert the course of justice over his former partner.

While on bail for the death of Mr Ahmed, Attaullah had got in contact with his on/off partner since 2015 and moved in with her last year.

However, he became violent on numerous occasions, accusing her of cheating on him and hitting her with a shoe and burning her arm and neck with a cannabis joint.

He would also lock her in the house and take her phone off her.

She eventually threw him out, but on September 9 last year he laid in wait and grabbed her and attacked her when she put the bins out, punching and kicking her repeatedly and told her "I will kill you if I have to."

She suffered a fractured cheekbone.

After he was arrested, he rang her several times from prison demanding her to drop the charges.

The court was told that Attaullah, of Lees Hall Road, Thornhill Lees, near Dewsbury, has multiple convictions for drug dealing and driving offences.

Mitigating, Yousuf Khan said that his client had accepted he faced a lengthy spell behind bars and said: "The damage he has done in the course of his life in recent years is untold.

"The impact his actions have had on the family of Ali Ahmed is immensely painful and he recognises that.

"He is extremely sorry and admits the anguish he has caused."

Referencing the attacks on his ex partner, Mr Khan said: "He wishes to express the regret for the psychological and physical harm to her."

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told Attaullah that his driving on the night of the crash was in a "truly frightening and appalling manner".

He added: "You tried to jettison the drugs you were dealing and get rid of the incriminating phone that you knew would uncover your drug dealing.

"All the while Mr Ahmed was dying from his injuries."

He said he had shown no remorse to the family of Mr Ahmed.

He jailed him from 138 months in total, banned him from driving for 10 years and nine months and handed him a restraining order to keep him away from his former partner.