Rida Kazem, 24, has been sentenced to over seven years in prison for killing a beautician when he crashed his Range Rover at speeds of up to 110 mph while “showing off”.
The vehicle went through a Tesla dealership and landed on a west London railway track, throwing out Kazem and Yagmur Ozden, 33, who died from her injuries.
Zamarod Arif, who was 26 at the time and the only one with a seatbelt on, survived with serious injuries such as a broken arm and leg.
Kazem lost his left leg below the knee after the crash, which happened when he was taking the two women back from a night out in the early hours of August 22 2022.
Ms Ozden’s family gasped and sobbed as CCTV footage of the collision was shown at Isleworth Crown Court, west London, on Wednesday.
Kazem’s black Range Rover Sport SVR, valued at £180,000, could be seen hitting a top speed of 110mph on the 40mph-limit A40 westbound near Ealing, Greater London, before he lost control.
The vehicle hit a stationary Tesla, occupied by a taxi driver who was charging the car, before the wreckage ended up on the tracks at Park Royal tube station.
Kazem, from Greenford, West London, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison by Judge Martin Edmunds KC after he admitted to causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
He will have to serve at least two-thirds of the sentence and was also forbidden from driving for more than 12 years.
“The crash was simply horrific in its speed and violence, and the Range Rover was turned into a twisted pile of metal,” the judge said. “I have no doubt you were trying to impress your passengers – both with your powerful car and what you thought were your superior driving skills. What is very obvious is your skills were very lacking.
Kazem, wearing dark tracksuit bottoms and a white T-shirt, entered the dock on crutches in front of a court packed with members of his own family as well as the victim’s relatives. He smiled to the public gallery after he was sentenced and left without using his crutches.
- Prosecutor Nicholas Hearn said he had previous convictions for speeding, including one offence for going 95mph in a 50mph zone and was disqualified from driving for six months in November 2020.
Kazem sat looking straight ahead as the prosecutor read out statements from the victims, including one from the 13-year-old daughter of Ms Ozden, who was born in Baghdad and lived in Finchley Road, North West London.
“I’m still in shock,” said Melek Ozden, who now lives with her grandmother. “Sometimes I feel lonely even though I have someone else with me. It will never be the same. I miss my mum and it’s very sad I can’t change what happened.
“I miss her and hanging out with her. She was my best friend and I will miss the simple things like cooking pasta with her.” She continued: “Every time I see a Range Rover I remember the accident so I can’t escape it.
“I know my mum always wanted one and she died in one. I have a constant daydream of my mum dying. It happens every day and sometimes more than once a day. I blame the driver for taking my mum away. I think he’s acting like it never happened.”
Ms Ozden’s sister-in-law Kirsty Kelly said she was the “rock of our family”, adding: “Yagmur had so many plans but sadly her plans got cut short. As a family we feel sick. It is unbelievably heart-breaking what we have been going through,” she said.
Ms Arif said her “life has completely changed” after the crash which has left her “permanently scarred both physically and mentally.”
The court heard Kazem had told the author of a pre-sentence report and his psychologist that he was not driving the Range Rover and the judge said he had “found no evidence of real remorse”.
But David Rhodes, defending, said Kazem, who worked for a family jewellery business and had been accepted onto a university law course, “accepts through his guilty pleas that he was the driver”.
“He knows he has taken a life in Yagmur Ozden and left a young girl. He added: “He knows he has taken a life in Yagmur Ozden and left a young girl without a mother and he knows he almost killed himself in that accident.”
Melek said outside court after the sentencing: “I’m not really happy with the sentence today but I really did pity him.
“When we left the court he said something really rude and it just doesn’t give my mum any justice. It’s really rude and it didn’t show he was sorry and there was no respect, and the outcome was awful and I don’t really like the sentence.”
“Hopefully my mum does get justice some day.” Ms Ozden’s sister Maya Kodsi, 37, said: “We left the court in so much pain.”