Van driver faces jail for killing pensioner

Liaqat Ali faces jail
Liaqat Ali faces jail
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A FORMER cash and carry boss is facing jail for killing a 77-year-old grandfather with his van.

Liaqat Ali, 57, was speeding when he smashed into pensioner James McNab as he crossed the road near his home in East Whitburn, West Lothian.

Livingston Sheriff Court heard that Ali 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.

Mr McNab died in hospital from serious head and leg injuries three days after the accident, which happened on September 29, 2012.

Ali pleaded guilty to two charges of causing death by careless driving and causing death by driving his white Peugeot Partner panel van without a licence or insurance.

He admitted exceeding the 30mph speed limit in his white Peugeot panel van on the A705 Whitburn to Livingston Road, failing to see Mr McNab, failing to slow down or take appropriate evasive action, and colliding with him to his fatal injury.

Mr McNab, who lived in Torbane Drive, East Whitburn, was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with serious head and leg wound, but later died from his injuries.

Company records show Ali, of Maybury Road, Edinburgh, was a director of Universal Wholesale Ltd based at Peffermill Industrial Estate until the business was dissolved in 2009.

Prosecutor fiscal depute Graeme Jessop told the court that Ali had been banned from driving for six months for speeding under totting-up rules after being convicted of four offences.

Mr Jessop said Mr McNab, who lived alone, had married in 1974 but was subsequently widowed when his wife Vivienne died in 2010.

The deceased had four stepdaughters, three stepsons and a number of grandchildren. He also had three brothers who all lived locally.

Victim impact statements written by Mr McNab’s stepdaughter Wilma McAlpine and a granddaughter Vicky Smith were handed to Sheriff Douglas Kinloch.

The sheriff told Ali that due to the nature of the charges, he was calling for criminal justice social inquiry reports before sentence.

He disqualified him from holding or obtaining a driving licence with immediate effect and adjourned the case until October 16.

newsen@edinburghnews.com