Rizwan Ali, 26, was jailed for three years and five months after he admitted causing death by dangerous driving that killed 65-year-old grandfather Colin Olawumi
These bragging pictures of a road menace posing shamelessly with a string of supercars were posted on social media – just weeks after he mowed down and killed a man in a drug-driving crash.
Rizwan Ali, 26, uploaded photographs of himself with a Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Mercedes and a Jaguar to impress his Facebook friends – but did not mention the fact he had ploughed a Range Rover into Colin Olawumi as the victim was walking over a pedestrian crossing.
Mr Olawumi, 65, who was on his way home from a pub was knocked down at 55mph after Ali hit speeds of up to 60mph in a 30mph zone having raced away moments earlier from a set of traffic lights.
The victim – a father of four daughters and grandfather to three girls – suffered multiple injuries in the impact and died at the scene – despite in-vain attempts by Ali himself to give mouth to mouth resuscitation.
Police tested car valeter Ali, from Heaton near Bolton, Greater Manchester two hours after the crash and found he had been smoking cannabis and snorting cocaine in the hours before the accident. He was under the limit for both drugs but was almost eight times the limit for benzoylecgonine (BZE) – the main metabolite for cocaine.
Inquiries revealed he had illegally hired the white Range Rover Sport using his older brother’s driving licence as he would have been too young to drive the car. The victim’s family were later outraged when Ali posted a selfie posing on the bonnet of a high performance VW Golf R just eight days after the tragedy.
Rizwan Ali, 26, uploaded photographs of himself with a Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Mercedes and a Jaguar to impress his friends – but did not mention the fact he had ploughed a Range Rover into Colin Olawumi as the victim was walking over a pedestrian crossing weeks earlier
Colin Olawumi, 65, who was on his way home from a pub was knocked down at 55mph after Ali hit speeds of up to 60mph in a 30mph zone having raced away moments earlier from a set of traffic lights
His social media accounts were also littered with selfie videos of him larking about at the wheel of a car. It is not known when the images or videos were actually taken.
At Bolton Crown Court, Ali was jailed for three years and five months after he admitted causing death by dangerous driving, causing death by careless driving whilst over the limit for BZE, causing death by driving whilst uninsured and fraud by false representation. He initially denied wrongdoing and only changed his plea on the day of his trial.
Some of the pictures and videos from his Facebook and Instagram accounts were shown at the hearing.
The 10pm accident occurred on August 18 2018 – 17 hours after Ali had consumed the drugs having illegally hired the Range Rover to show off at a wedding.
Police tested car valeter Ali, from Heaton near Bolton, two hours after the crash and found he had been smoking cannabis and snorting cocaine in the hours. He was under the limit for both drugs but was almost eight times the limit for benzoylecgonine (BZE)
Inquiries revealed he had illegally hired the white Range Rover Sport using his older brother’s driving licence as he would have been too young to drive the car
He had been waiting at a set of red traffic lights but when they turned green he suddenly began accelerating quickly away from another car which had been in the inside lane.
Mr Oluwami had just left the Balmoral pub in Bolton and had started to cross the road at a pedestrian crossing at the A673 in Bolton when he was hit by the Range Rover.
Tests on the vehicle’s Restraint Control Module system showed it travelling at almost 61mph just one second before the impact.
A blood sample showed Ali had 373 micrograms of BZE in his system. The driving limit is 50 mg per litre.
He passed tests for cocaine and cannabis but Mr Peter Cadwallader prosecuting said: ‘The defendant had consumed both of those drugs prior to the collision.
In a letter to the court Ali said: ‘The person was hit by myself and I did not have the slightest intention to harm anyone and I extremely regret and, at heart, feel guilty for what happened’
‘The fact that he had significant cocaine and cannabis in his system at the time is an important factor when looked at in combination with the other elements in his driving, including his high speed. Common sense dictates that drugs has an effect on driving just as alcohol has an adverse effect on driving, even if below the limit.
‘In essence if one consumes alcohol or drugs albeit, within the legal limits for driving one has to compensate for it by exercising additional caution. The defendant didn’t.
‘One moment he started from stationary at the lights. The next moment due to very heavy acceleration he was on top of Mr Olawumi travelling at a very high speed giving no time for Mr Olawumi to react. At the speed he was travelling at it was essential for the defendant him to keep a very good look-out – regardless of whether he consumed drugs.’
Ali later told police he had been driving at 30mph and had not seen Mr Oluwami until it was too late. In interviews whilst awaiting sentence he dismissed the hiring of the Range Rover as a ‘silly mistake’ and when asked about his speeding said: ‘Everyone does that.’
But in a letter to the court Ali said: ‘The person was hit by myself and I did not have the slightest intention to harm anyone and I extremely regret and, at heart, feel guilty for what happened.
‘I never wanted this to happen and sincerely ask forgiveness from the friends and family and from God for what I have done. I have no justification whatsoever and take full responsibility and do not want to prolong suffering of related people.’
In a statement the victim’s daughter Dionne Olawumi said: ‘We are heartbroken at his death and the family feel insulted and angry that this man failing to admit his guilt for 18 months – only pleading guilty at the last moment.
‘He only suddenly expressed remorse out of the blue having fought the case at every juncture. We feel his remorse is mere pretence. Nothing can compare to when our dad lost his life.
‘There’s no way I can assess the damage that has been caused top us. but we are only secondary victims. My dad was the real victim in thuis. It has been extremely hard to come to terms with his death. As a family we continue to suffer. My dad was very much moved. he always had a smile and an infectious laugh. ‘
Nicole Wilson another of Olawumi’s daughters said: ‘Some days I feel the pain will never end. Ali not only killed my dad but compounded our pain and anguish with his complete disregard for taking responsibility for his actions. Our family life can never be complete now.
‘That tragic night we had been celebrating my birthday at the very moment my dad was killed. Some of us actually drove past the accident scene not knowing what had happened and that has left us with feelings of guilt.’
In mitigation defence counsel Stuart Neale said Ali had since been diagnosed with depression and PTSD.
He said his client had no intention of upsetting the victim’s family with the social media pictures and said many of the photographs had been taken during the course of his work.
He produced character references from Ali’s family friends including a doctor and a lawyer and added: ‘It has been hard and painful for him to come to terms with what he has done. But that doesn’t mean his remorse is not genuine.
‘There was deep distress for what had taken place and it is the human condition that some people do find it difficult to accept the responsibility for what has taken place along with the genuine moral and legal guilt they have to take on board.’
Ali was also banned from driving for four years and eight months.
Judge Graeme Smith told him: ‘I have seen the pictures posted to your Facebook and Instagram accounts since the accident which show you in or next to high performance cars. I can understand why Mr Olumwami’s family have been caused additional distress by this and why they think the remorse you are expressing now is not sincere.
‘I accept there is no evidence these photographs were taken after the accident – although you clearly continue to have an interest in high performance cars and it was undoubtedly unwise in the circumstances to post these photographs and videos to public accounts.
‘I do accept you have a level of remorse but I have to set this against your failure to accept responsibility for this accident until the last possible moment. I do not accept even now that you have taken full responsibility for what happened.’