Bristol

Bristol car-drag death driver Shakrul Islam jailed

Shakrul Islam Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Shakrul Islam drove for nearly half a mile with Kyle Clarke under the car, the court was told

A man who killed his friend by dragging him under a car after a botched attempt to steal fuel, has been jailed.

Shakrul Islam, 31, had already used the car as a weapon to scare petrol station staff, a jury was told.

Kyle Clarke, 27, died when he was dragged for half a mile under the car in Bristol in January.

Islam, of South Gloucestershire, who had denied the charge, was convicted of manslaughter, at the city's crown court and sentenced to seven years.

Sentencing the unlicensed driver of Chipping Sodbury, Judge Peter Blair QC said Mr Clarke's death had had "an earth-shattering effect" on his family.

"They were planning on emigrating to Australia and had that day made a final payment for visas," he said.

Car was lifted

Islam had previously admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Mr Clarke's death followed an altercation with garage employee Abu Sayem, who thought they were going to try and drive off without paying for petrol, the court heard.

Mr Clarke was pulled from the car by Mr Sayem, but Islam drove the car at them, knocking Mr Clarke over and trapping him under the car as he drove off.

The vehicle finally came to a halt at traffic lights when members of the public lifted the car up and tried to save Mr Clarke's life.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The Texaco garage off Hengrove Way

A post-mortem examination found Mr Clarke had suffered 48 rib fractures, fractures to his breast bone and collarbone and collapsed lungs.

Speaking after the sentencing, Det Supt Sarah Davenport said Islam drove away from the garage "travelling a considerable distance with Kyle trapped under the car".

"When he finally stopped, Kyle had already suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene," she said.

"Our thoughts remain with Kyle's family and friends."

'Heart of gold'

His mother Helen Stockford, said he had been the "soul of the family" and his death was "devastating" for his brothers and sisters.

"He was a good kid - heart of gold. Even in his hardest moments he still managed to find a smile and have a laugh and a joke," she said.

Referring to the move to Australia, Mrs Stockford said her son was "so looking forward to going".

"It just seems so sad because on the verge of us emigrating, it has now come to this," she said.

"We are extremely upset that Kyle isn't with us today. My heart also stands with Mr Islam who has been convicted, because I think he didn't deliberately set out to kill my son."

Mrs Stockford said she and her family did not agree with the conviction and would help Islam with an appeal against if he planned to.

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