Jagdip Dhesi was drunk and fleeing from police when he ran into and killed a University of Leicester student. The student 18-year-old Paul Radcliffe, who was crossing the road with friends near his halls of residence, on Stoughton Drive South, in Oadby.
The 64 mph collision, which happened in the 30 mph area, propelled the victim 10 feet high onto a lampost, before he hit a tree with “considerable force” and landed back into the road.
Dhesi swerved around the fatally injured first-year engineering student – and left the area at up to 84 mph in a 40 mph area along the A6, before abandoning his car on a housing estate, Leicester Crown Court was told.
Despite frantic attempts by police to save the teenager, he died at the scene.
Dhesi, a 31-year-old married father-of-one, of Tennis Court Drive, Leicester, pleaded guilty to causing Paul’s death by dangerous driving, at 12.30am on Saturday January 19.
In a personal impact statement read out by the prosecutor, Paul’s devastated father, Brian Radcliffe, described how his son was: “Wiped out in a second because of a succession of appalling decisions by one out-of-control reckless individual.”
Alexander Wolfsen, prosecuting, said prior to the crash, a police patrol was travelling along nearby Stoughton Drive when the officer was forced to brake and swerve to avoid the defendant’s oncoming S-Class Mercedes overtaking two cars at an estimated 60 mph.
The prosecutor said: “The officer turned around and by the time he and his colleague caught up with the defendant he was driving within the speed limit and they followed him into Stoughton Drive South.
“By this time there was another police car in front of him.
“The officers decided to pull him over and illuminated blue lights.”
They thought he was going to cooperate – but he did not and suddenly overtook the police car in front.
He collided with the student, who was originally from France, and was crossing the road, having left his halls of residence with friends, intending to get a late bus into the city centre for a night out.
Mr Wolfsen said: “Tragically, Mr Radcliffe died at the scene despite the best efforts of the police, who tried CPR, but to no avail.”
The court heard that Dhesi had picked up a female passenger prior to the collision and when she warned him about his speed he replied: “I know how to drive.”
Afterwards, having “fled at high speed” and abandoned his car 2.6 miles away, he got his wife to pick him up and went to have a look at the scene, which was cordoned off.
When he returned home the police were waiting for him.
A breath test taken more than two hours later, at 2.40am, showed he had 45 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of alcohol. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.
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.
“The onset of this dangerous driving was an overtaking manoeuvre causing an oncoming police car to swerve to avoid being struck by you.
“The police officer turned and followed you and instructed you to stop.
“At the last minute you put your foot down and accelerated hard and swerved past the police vehicle and went on a pedestrian island and into your side of the the road and accelerated as fast as you could.
“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.
“He was beyond reproach in the way he behaved that night.
“You said you didn’t realise it was a person you’d struck because you were looking in your rear view mirror at the pursuing police car.
“You swerved around him (in the road) and must have known at that point if not before it was a person you’d hit.
“You made off and didn’t stop to see if he was injured or to offer him any help.
“The judge said he accepted Dhesi was remorseful and the bad driving was of a relatively short duration and that he had a clean driving record of 11 years before that night.
Judge Brown said: “No sentence I pass can ever measure up to the value of a loss of life.” Balraj Bhatia, mitigating, said references from the defendant’s family spoke of Dhesi’s deep remorse and his charity work, particularly for the Sikh community.
His family accepted he should be punished in the acknowledgement of the sorrow that had been caused.
Mr Bhatia said the defendant was driving a powerful three litre engine that could reach high speeds at the “blink of an eye,” and the collision happened within seconds. Members of a jury must base t
He said: “Mr Dhesi accepts the accident was totally his fault and he knows he’s to be punished for that.
“He wasn’t aware at that particular stage he’d hit a person although was aware there was an impact of some sort.”
Mr Bhatia said the defendant apologised to Mr Radcliffe’s family.
‘I deserve everything I receive’
In a statement read out by Mr Bhatia, the defendant said he could not begin to imagine the family’s suffering and added: “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.”
Mr Bhatia said: “The madness over that very short period of time will have long lasting effect on may people including Paul Radcliffe’s family.
“Both families have been devastated by his actions.”
He said the defendant ran a business with his brother.
His father died of a kidney complaint when he was younger and Dhesi then became head of his extended family. He had inherited the same medical defect as his father and his mother had donated a kidney to him “not long ago.”
Dhesi was given a four year and eight month jail sentence.
He was banned from driving for six years and four months.