Birmingham & Black Country

Broad Street hit-and-run death driver jailed for five years

Fahid Saber Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Fahid Saber is suspected to have been two times over the legal alcohol limit

A drunken driver who knocked down and killed a student while speeding along a busy street has been jailed for five years.

Fahid Saber, 22, travelled at speeds of up to 52mph (84km/h) along Birmingham's Broad Street when his Volkswagen Polo hit 22-year-old Joseph O'Reilly.

Mr O'Reilly was thrown about 15ft (4.6 m) in the air by the impact, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Saber admitted causing death by dangerous driving last month.

The court heard Wolverhampton University student Mr O'Reilly left a nightclub with a friend at about 04:00 GMT on 15 December.

'No time'

Saber's car was caught on CCTV "tailing" his friend's Volkswagen Golf before it hit Mr O'Reilly, who was trying to hail a taxi, the court heard.

The court was told the Polo struck Mr O'Reilly "without braking" before Saber drove away from the scene, despite damage to the vehicle.

Judge Simon Drew QC, sentencing, said Saber should have been "fully aware of the number of people who were around" in the popular nightlife area.

He told Saber, who was suspected to have been two times over the legal alcohol limit, that the case was aggravated by factors including his attempt to blame the victim for stepping into the road.

"You simply had no time to see [Mr O'Reilly], let alone react," he said.

Image copyright Christopher Furlong/Getty
Image caption The Broad Street entertainment district would have been busy at the time of Joseph O'Reilly's death, the court heard

"You sought to deny the level of alcohol you had consumed.

"The reality was, as is now clear, that the responsibility for this tragic incident was entirely yours."

The judge also imposed a five-year driving ban, and a separate nine-month sentence on Saber, of Bromford Lane, Birmingham, for driving away from the scene.

Mr O'Reilly, originally from Co Kildare in the Republic of Ireland, died from multiple injuries.

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