Park Royal crash driver who killed beautician while ‘showing off’ is jailed
A driver who killed a beautician when he lost control of his Range Rover while “showing off” at speeds of up to 110 mph has been jailed for more than seven years.
Yagmur Ozden, 33, died of her injuries after she and Rida Kazem, 24, were thrown from the vehicle as it ploughed through a Tesla dealership, ending up on a west London railway track.
Another passenger Zamarod Arif, who was 26 at the time, was the only one wearing a seatbelt and was left with serious injuries including a broken arm and leg.
Kazem, whose left leg was amputated below the knee following the crash, had been driving the two women home from a night out in the early hours of August 22 2022.
The speed and violence of this unfolding crash is simply horrific, and the Range Rover was reduced to a mangled heap of metal
Judge Martin Edmunds KC
The were gasps and sobs from members of Ms Ozden’s family as CCTV footage, which captured the collision, was played at Isleworth Crown Court, west London, on Wednesday.
Kazem’s black Range Rover Sport SVR, valued at £180,000, could be seen hitting a top speed of 110mph on the 40mph-limit A40 westbound near Ealing, Greater London, before he lost control.
The vehicle hit a stationary Tesla, occupied by a taxi driver who was charging the car, before the wreckage ended up on the tracks at Park Royal tube station.
Judge Martin Edmunds KC jailed Kazem, from Greenford, west London, for a total of seven-and-a-half years after he previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
He will serve at least two-thirds of the sentence and was also banned from driving for more than 12 years.
“The speed and violence of this unfolding crash is simply horrific, and the Range Rover was reduced to a mangled heap of metal,” the judge said.
“I have no doubt you were showing off to your passengers – both showing off your powerful car but also what you thought of as your superior driving skills.
“What is all too clear is your skills were all too inadequate.”
Kazem, wearing dark tracksuit bottoms and a white T-shirt, entered the dock on crutches in front of a court packed with members of his own family as well as the victim’s relatives.
He smiled to the public gallery after he was sentenced and left without using his crutches.
Prosecutor Nicholas Hearn said he has previous speeding convictions, including one offence for driving 95mph in a 50mph zone and was banned from driving for six months in November 2020.
Kazem sat staring straight ahead as the prosecutor read out victim impact statements, including one from the 13-year-old daughter of Baghdad-born Ms Ozden, of Finchley Road, north-west London.
Every time I see a Range Rover I remember the accident so I can't get away from it
“I’m still on shock,” said Melek Ozden, who now lives with her grandmother.
“Sometimes I feel alone even though I have someone else with me.
“It will never be the same. I miss my mum and it’s very sad I can’t change what happened.
“I miss her and that I can no longer hang out with her.
“She was my best friend and I will miss the simple things like cooking pasta with her.”
She continued: “Every time I see a Range Rover I remember the accident so I can’t get away from it.
“I know my mum always wanted one and she ended up passing away in one.
“I have a constant daydream of my mum passing away. It happens every day and sometimes more than once a day.
“I blame the driver for taking my mum away. I believe he’s acting like it never happened.”
Ms Ozden’s sister-in-law Kirsty Kelly described her as the “rock of our family”, adding: “Yagmur had so many plans but sadly her plans got cut short.
“As a family we feel sick. It is unbelievably heart-breaking what we have been going through,” she said.
Ms Arif told how her “life has completely changed” after the crash which has left her “permanently scarred both physically and mentally.”
The court heard Kazem had suggested to the author of a pre-sentence report and his psychologist that he had not been driving the Range Rover and the judge said he had “found no evidence of real remorse”.
But David Rhodes, defending, said Kazem, who worked for a family jewellery business and had been accepted onto a university law course, “accepts through his guilty pleas that he was the driver”.
“He knows he has taken a life in Yagmur Ozden and left a young girl without a mother and he knows he very nearly killed himself in that accident,” he added.
Speaking outside court after the sentencing Melek said: “I’m not really happy with the sentence today but I really did feel sorry for him.
“When we left the court he did say something really offensive and it just doesn’t give my mum any justice.
“It’s really offensive and it didn’t show he was sorry and there was no respect, and the outcome was horrible and I don’t really like the sentence.
“Hopefully my mum does get justice some day.”
Ms Ozden’s sister Maya Kodsi, 37, added: “We left the court in so much pain.
“They took the decision, it’s not enough and it’s not fair. There’s no punishment in this country.”