A businessman has been sentenced to prison after he accelerated at a speed of 20 km/h across a zebra crossing, killing a pensioner and his dog. Ben Trigger, 29, was convicted last month after a trial for causing death by dangerous driving.
Trigger, who had previously been banned from driving for drunk driving twice, was at the wheel of his Ford Ranger pickup truck when he encountered Abdelkader Dhrif, 70, on the A580 East Lancashire Road in Worsley, at 3:30 p.m. Nov. Salford, drove up. , 2019. Abdelkader and his dog, Maisie, have passed away.
Today (Monday), a court heard about the devastating impact of the tragedy on the family of Mr Dhrif, a Boothstown grandfather affectionately known as Tony, before Trigger was sentenced to prison.
READ MORE: Passengers IN TEARS at Manchester Airport chaos as people ‘miss flights’ amid huge queues
Mr Dhrif was standing with his dog in the crosswalk as it was marked red for pedestrians and green for motorists at the intersection of Ellenbrook Road and Newearth Road. But after a trial last month, a jury convicted Trigger, of Merton Grove, Astley, wigan, of causing his death by dangerous driving after two hours of deliberation. He accelerated at that point and was traveling at 60 mph, 20 mph above the speed limit.
In his defense, Trigger told his trial: “All I know is that I believed I was doing the speed limit, I was with the flow of traffic
“I don’t believe I did anything that was dangerous or unsafe.” Trigger said he had traveled to… center of Manchester to have some pants changed before returning to his home in Wigan †
Prosecutor Peter Cadwallader read a series of victim statements written by heartbroken relatives of Mr Dhrif on Monday morning during the Manchester Crown Court conviction hearing.
His wife Susan recalled the “chaos” of the day of the collision near her home and said the impact of his death was “enormous”. “When I go shopping, I have to stop by most days, which I find very difficult to do,” she wrote.
“For the first six months I couldn’t tell you what was going on. I was so upset. I couldn’t breathe. I have so much pain in my chest and I’m a nervous wreck,” Ms Dhrif added.
The widow described how she “wept incessantly” while walking her new dog. “The loneliness, being alone all the time and still being cooped up, was extremely difficult,” she wrote.
The couple had just been married two months, 43 years later, and had made plans to spend more time together after Susan took early retirement. “I find it very difficult to accept that I will never see my kind, caring, loving husband again,” she said. Abdelkader had a ‘beautiful character’.
‘I don’t think I’ll ever get over it’
Ms Dhrif said the family was upset that her husband’s body had been held by authorities for four weeks. As a Muslim, he “should have been buried immediately,” she said.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. I’m lost, lonely and feel very vulnerable,” she wrote, adding that the two-year and four-month delay in completing the criminal case has hurt the family. increases.
Dhrif’s daughter Leila Craig, an emergency room nurse, said she would “never forget the worst phone call I ever got” from her sister after the tragedy.
She wrote: “She was hysterical and tried to tell me that there had been an accident and that our father had died. She was overcome with grief and hysteria. She quickly ended the conversation with me, not knowing exactly what was going on I couldn’t get hold of my mother. I panicked with this overwhelming feeling of nausea.”
It was only after a call from the police that Leila, who lives 250 miles away, realized ‘the nightmare was true and my father had died on a crosswalk’.
Referring to the defendant Trigger, she wrote, “If the driver had been driving at the right speed, there’s a good chance my father would still be alive today.” The delay in completing the case in court was “unnecessary and cruel”.
Mrs. Craig said her mother was “torn with grief.” “We also lost our mother that day,” she said. She criticized the “total disrespect” the defendant had shown by his driving style.
Dhrif’s other daughter Sara wrote, “My father’s death has caused so much pain.” She remembered her father calling her every day and worried if she didn’t get her usual call from him. When she tried it, there was no answer and ‘she started to worry’.
Later that day, Sara described how a friend posted to a WhatsApp group about an incident on East Lancs Road. Her mother called to tell her that ‘your father is gone’. She described the traumatic effect her father’s death had on her.
She described how her daughter, Abdelkader’s granddaughter, “missed him so much.” They would play cards together and if she had a sleepover he would toast her, the court was told.
Sara, referring to the defendant, said, “If you’re going 20 miles per hour faster than the speed limit, you have to accept that there can be consequences.”
The court was told that Trigger had been convicted of drink-driving in April 2008, when he was just 17, and then again in August 2009, at age 18, when he was handed a three-year driving ban. In February 2010, he was given a suspended sentence after being caught driving while disqualified.
Defensive Robert Cole QC asked the judge to consider the delay in bringing the case to court, which he said was not the fault of his client, who had been released on bail.
The QC said his client had written a letter to the court in which he “fully understands the effect on Mr Dhrif’s family”. He pointed out that his client was only 17 and 18 when he was previously convicted of drink driving, and asked the judge to consider suspending any jail time.
Trigger had “demonstrated his ability to graft and work hard” and had created a “successful company” supplying the construction industry. His client had “learned a lesson,” said the QC.
‘If you hadn’t driven too fast, he wouldn’t have died’
Sentenced to two years and six months in prison, Judge Conrad QC told the defendant, “You killed a man because you were speeding under all circumstances. If you hadn’t been speeding, he wouldn’t have died.”
The judge described how Mr Dhrif was walking his dog at the time and was “dearly loved” by his family. Dhrif was “within the boundaries of the pedestrian crossing,” which at the time was red for pedestrians and green for motorists, the judge said.
“He had reached somewhere in the outer lane when he was hit by your vehicle. He died as a result of his injuries,” Judge Conrad said.
The speed limit on that section of road was 40 mph. The defendant had reached 80 km/h and then accelerated to just over 100 km/h at the intersection, the judge said, who added: “Had you been driving at the right speed, you could have stopped in time to get a avoid a collision. Driving in that direction is of course dangerous, the jury found.”
Judge Conrad insisted he did not blame Mr Dhrif for the collision, but said court sentencing guidelines required him to consider when the deceased’s actions “contributed to the accident”. He said to the defendant, “One day you will be able to rebuild your life. Mr. Dhrif does not have that opportunity.”
Trigger was also banned from driving for three years and two months and was ordered to pay £2,000 towards prosecution costs. He did not respond when he was led away to begin his sentence.