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Mahfooz jailed for three years for crash that killed pensioner Syd Freeman

Sydney Freeman. Picture: Andrew Stearn
Sydney Freeman. Picture: Andrew Stearn

by Keith Hunt

A speeding driver who knocked down and killed pensioner Syd Freeman as he walked hand-in-hand with his wife in Maidstone has been jailed for three years.

Khuram Mahfooz will serve just 18 months or less before he is released.

It was revealed after he was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving that he had been cautioned two days before the tragedy for mounting the pavement with no headlights on in the same spot.

A judge said of 75-year-old Mr Freeman's death: "No sentence of this court could begin properly to reflect such a loss."

Mahfooz, of Northumberland Road, Shepway Estate, Maidstone, denied the charge but was convicted by a 10-2 majority verdict.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the 25-year-old married father almost hit a stationary bus before he lost control of his Honda Civic in Cumberland Avenue on June 27 last year.

The car ploughed into Mr Freeman, a retired postman, and his wife Ivy. Mrs Freeman suffered serious injuries, including a broken right ankle.

During the trial, she spoke of the moment her husband was killed.

She described how her husband's "eyes were closed and he looked like he had gone to sleep" as he lay on the pavement.

Mrs Freeman said she and her husband had been to visit friends in Maidstone when the tragedy happened on June 27 last year.

"We had a fabulous afternoon with our friends," Mrs Freeman said in a statement read to a jury at Maidstone Crown Court. They walked along the pavement in Cumberland Avenue either arm-in-arm or holding hands.

"I was on the inside," she said. "Syd always made sure I was walking inside. I heard a loud thudding noise behind me.

"A fraction of a second after the thud noise I suddenly felt a heavy blow. I was taken clean off my feet and thrown forward towards the road. I saw a flash of a white car as it hit me.

"I remember lying on the pavement with my feet on the road. Syd was quite a distance from me. His eyes were closed and he looked like he had gone to sleep. I kept telling everyone to go and help Syd, as he was not moving."

Judge Philip Statman was told Mahfooz, who worked for a pizza company, came to the UK from Pakistan in 2005 and had indefinite leave to remain.

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