A driver who killed a beautician when he lost control of his £180,000 Range Rover while “showing off” at speeds of 110mph smiled in court today as he was jailed.
Rida Kazem, 24, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail at Isleworth Crown Court, west London after he pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Yagmur Ozden, 33, died of her injuries after she and Kazem were thrown from the black Range Rover Sport SVR as it ploughed through a Tesla dealership and ended up on railway tracks at Park Royal Underground station.
Judge Martin Edmunds KC said the “speed and violence” of the crash was “simply horrific” and that the Range Rover was “reduced to a mangled heap of metal” as he sentenced Kazem.
Another passenger, Zamarod Arif, who was 26 at the time, was the only one wearing a seatbelt but still suffered serious injuries including a broken arm and leg.
Kazem, whose left leg was amputated below the knee following the crash, had been driving the two women home from a night out in the early hours of 22 August last year.
CCTV footage that captured the collision was played in court, prompting gasps and sobs from Ms Ozden’s family.
The video showed Kazem hitting a top speed of 110mph on the 40mph-limit A40 westbound near Ealing, west London, before he lost control.
Kazem will serve at least two-thirds of his sentence and was also banned from driving for more than 12 years.
Judge Edmunds KC said: “I have no doubt you were showing off to your passengers – both showing off your powerful car but also what you thought of as your superior driving skills.
“What is all too clear is your skills were all too inadequate.”
Victim’s daughter ‘will never be the same’
Ms Ozden’s 13-year-old daughter said in her victim impact statement she was “still in shock”.
“Sometimes I feel alone even though I have someone else with me,” Melek Ozden said.
“It will never be the same. I miss my mum and it’s very sad I can’t change what happened.”
The statement added: “I miss her and that I can no longer hang out with her.
“She was my best friend and I will miss the simple things like cooking pasta with her.”
“I have a constant daydream of my mum passing away. It happens every day and sometimes more than once a day,” she added.
“I blame the driver for taking my mum away. I believe he’s acting like it never happened.”
Melek now lives with her grandmother after her mother’s death.
Speaking after the sentencing, Melek said Kazem offended her in the courtroom.
She said: “I’m not really happy with the sentence today but I really did feel sorry for him.
“When we left the court, he did say something really offensive and it just doesn’t give my mum any justice.
“It’s really offensive and it didn’t show he was sorry and there was no respect and the outcome was horrible and I don’t really like the sentence.
“Hopefully my mum does get justice someday.”
Ms Ozden’s sister Maya Kodsi, 37, added: “We left the court in so much pain.
“They took the decision, it’s not enough and it’s not fair.
“There’s no punishment in this country.”
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Smile to public gallery after sentencing
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 has previous speeding convictions, including one offence for driving 95mph in a 50mph zone and was banned from driving for six months in November 2020.
The court heard Kazem had suggested to the author of a pre-sentence report and his psychologist that he had not been 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 without a mother and he knows he very nearly killed himself in that accident,” he said.