Speeding driver avoids prison after killing OAP

Liaqat Ali was driving over the speed limit without a licence or insurance

Liaqat Ali was driving over the speed limit without a licence or insurance

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A BUSINESSMAN who knocked down and killed a pensioner while driving at 50mph in a 30mph zone has been spared a jail sentence.

Uninsured motorist Liaqat Ali hit 77-year-old widower James McNab “square on” as he crossed the road in East Whitburn.

A court was told that former cash and carry boss Ali, 57, made no effort to brake or swerve before slamming into the grandfather.

Mr McNab suffered horrific brain injuries, a broken neck and a smashed pelvis after he bounced off the bonnet of the Peugeot Partner van and smashed his head against the windscreen.

He died in hospital two days later without regaining consciousness, despite the desperate efforts by police, paramedics and hospital doctors to save him.

Ali, who now works as an assistant in his wife’s convenience store, had already been disqualified from driving under “totting up” rules for four previous speeding offences.

Although the six-month driving ban had expired a year before the fatal crash, he hadn’t applied for a new licence and wasn’t insured to drive.

Ali earlier pleaded guilty on indictment to causing death by careless driving and causing death by driving without a licence or insurance.

He admitted breaking the 30mph speed limit on the A705 Whitburn to Livingston Road at East Whitburn on a wet, dark Saturday night in September 2012 and failing to see Mr McNab.

He also admitted that he failed to slow down or take appropriate evasive action, and collided with him to his fatal injury.

Yesterday at Livingston Sheriff Court, Ali was told to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work under a community payback order.

He was also disqualified from driving for four years and ordered to sit an extended test before driving again.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Peter Hammond said he had taken into account Ali’s charitable work in Scotland and Pakistan, where he has helped to fund an eye hospital.

Sheriff Hammond said: “I’ve been provided with victim impact statements describing the difficulties, the upset and trauma which has affected their lives as a direct legacy of your actions on that fateful night.

“I’ve been told this was a case of misjudgment in that you thought Mr McNab had seen you and was waiting for you to pass, which was not the case.

“That’s your only explanation for what would otherwise be an inexplicable failure to see a pedestrian on the roadway.”

Mr McNab had married in 1974, but was widowed when his wife, Vivienne, died in 2010.

He had four stepdaughters, three stepsons and a number of grandchildren. He also had three brothers.