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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Drunk Punjab-origin man jailed for killing student in UK car crash

Dhesi’s lawyer Balraj Bhatia mentioned his client’s “deep remorse” and his charity work in the Sikh community during the trial. His family accepted he should be punished in the acknowledgement of the sorrow that had been caused.

indians-abroad Updated: Aug 15, 2019 08:11 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Dhesi tried to avoid police cars and failed to stop after hitting Radcliffe, but was arrested when he returned home an hour after the incident.
Dhesi tried to avoid police cars and failed to stop after hitting Radcliffe, but was arrested when he returned home an hour after the incident.(Representative image)
         

A Punjab-origin man, who drove his car in Leicester over the alcohol limit and ploughed into a student, killing him in January has been jailed for four years and eight months after a trial in which he remorsefully admitted his offence. Jagdip Dhesi, 30, was sentenced to jail in the Leicester crown court this week for killing pedestrian Paul Radcliffe, 18. He has also been banned from driving for 76 months, the Leicester police said.

Dhesi’s lawyer Balraj Bhatia mentioned his client’s “deep remorse” and his charity work in the Sikh community during the trial. His family accepted he should be punished in the acknowledgement of the sorrow that had been caused.

Dhesi tried to avoid police cars and failed to stop after hitting Radcliffe, but was arrested when he returned home an hour after the incident. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene. Dhesi said he was aware of hitting something but not a person. Detective sergeant Gary Haines said: “Dhesi had no intention of stopping for the police. He knew he was over the drink-drive limit and therefore I believe he didn’t want to stop and thought that he could make good his escape.”

“This decision proved to be fatal, resulting in an innocent young man losing his life. I hope the fact that he admitted his crime – and been given a custodial sentence – will provide a small amount of relief to Radcliffe’s family, who are still coming to terms with their loss.” He said.

Judge Robert Brown told Dhesi: “You were driving a very powerful car this night, which had tremendous acceleration. You shouldn’t have been driving the car; you had excess alcohol in your system.” “Paul Radcliffe was crossing the road. He was behaving sensibly and did nothing wrong. He was in no way to blame for this collision at all and you quite properly accept that...No sentence I pass can ever measure up to the value of a loss of life,” the judge said.

In a statement read out by Bhatia, Dhesi said he could not begin to imagine the family’s suffering: “I will have to live with the fact my actions caused the death of an 18-year-old. I deserve everything I receive. Nothing can compare to the sorrow and pain Paul Radcliffe’s family will have to live with.” Bhatia added that both families had been devastated by Dhesi’s actions.

First Published: Aug 14, 2019 20:38 IST

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