LONDON: A delivery driver who sped through central London as he chased another car before crashing into a row of supercars, causing up to £1 million ($1.34 million) of damage, was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence on Wednesday.
CCTV footage from August 2019 showed Ahmed Al-Husseini, 25, behind the wheel of an Audi A8 in the exclusive Chelsea area as he pursued the driver of a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, who he believed had damaged his car.
During the chase, Al-Husseini’s vehicle jumped through the air and collided with railings outside a house before crashing into a £300,000 McLaren MP4, a £200,000 Bentley and a £100,000 Porsche Cayenne. He also damaged an Audi A5, a Porsche Carrera 4S, a Land Rover Discovery, a Vauxhall Corsa and a Mitsubishi Outlander, Metro.co.uk reported. He suffered head and knee injuries in the crash and spent two days in hospital.
Prosecutor Brian Reece told Isleworth Crown Court that Al-Husseini, a delivery driver for a newspaper company in London, was filmed traveling at speeds of up to 92mph. The speed limit in central London is 30mph. He said the Audi was traveling so fast it became airborne at a junction, “at which point the defendant, as the driver, would have no control over it — and just across that junction is Moore Street, which is the place where some extremely valuable vehicles are parked.”
Reece added: “He gave the context of having been himself in a hit-and-run incident that he attributed to the driver of the McLaren SLR, and thought he was in pursuit of the SLR in Lennox Gardens four to five hours later.
“He claimed he had no recollection of the incident. He had had a full license for about a year and had no previous convictions. Settlement figures given in interview were between half a million and a million pounds for damage to these cars.”
Tony Nayager, defending, said: “If he’s going to drive at that speed then he’s going to bear the consequences. He’s readily in acceptance of his culpability for this matter.
“Perhaps Mr Al-Husseini is feeling rather sorry for himself, rather than anyone else. The car belonged to his father’s former partner; this later broke down their relationship and also his relationship with his father.”
Judge Sarah Paneth told Al-Husseini that only Audi engineering had saved him and a passenger in his car from serious injury or death.
“I’m not so much concerned about the value of these vehicles in monetary terms, it is the number of vehicles and the fact that to any of the people who owned these vehicles, Vauxhalls or Porsche Cayennes, they were all valuable,” she said.
“Whatever the value of the vehicles was, I have to look at the fact that you caused extensive damage to a very large number of vehicles. Damage to these vehicles was caused by you driving far too fast. It is frankly a miracle that no one was seriously hurt, perhaps other than you.”
In addition to the suspended prison sentence, Al-Husseini was banned from driving for two years. Under UK law he will have to pass an extended driving test to regain his license.