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Short-sighted driver jailed for paralysing man in Barking collision

Abdul Hafiz was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment.

A man from Barking has been jailed for seriously injuring an elderly man in a collision, despite being urged not to drive by an optometrist.

Abdul Hafiz was driving in Fanshawe Avenue in December 2017 when he hit the 73-year-old, who was crossing the road.

The victim was left paralysed from the waist down.

He passed away in March 2019 but his death was found to be unrelated to the collision.

Hafiz, 61, of Westrow Drive, could only read a number plate from a distance of 4.1 metres, a fifth of the legal requirement.

Two months prior to the collision, he had attended an optician’s appointment where he failed to meet the minimum standards for driving and was informed that he had needed to have cataract surgery.

He was referred to a specialist hospital where he was instructed by the optometrist that he must not drive until he had surgery.

But Hafiz did get behind the wheel, with fatal consequences.

He was found guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

He was sentenced to 20 months in jail and disqualified for driving for 3 years and 10 months.

The investigating officer, PC Wilkinson, said: “This case highlights the importance on having regular eye tests especially for older drivers. It is imperative that drivers follow the advice given to them by their medical practitioners.

“Mr Hafiz had been expressly told that he should not drive as he had a number of issues with his eyesight and completely disregarded this advice.”

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