Grandmother fell asleep at wheel and killed "incredible" student as he waited for bus

A grandmother "snuffed out" the life of a talented student when she fell asleep at the wheel of her car and ran him over.

Monday, 17th June 2019, 6:28 pm
Updated Monday, 17th June 2019, 7:28 pm
Rukhsana Malik was jailed for two years, three months for causing death by dangerous driving.

Rukhsana Malik lost control of her car, mounted the pavement and struck Andrew Hillarby as he waited for a to bus meet his friends.

Malik, 58, was jailed for two years, three months after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

The tragedy happened at 4.30pm on June 5 last year, on Haigh Moor Road, Tingley.

Rukhsana Malik was jailed for two years, three months for causing death by dangerous driving.

Mr Hillarby's parents, sister, relatives and friends attended Leeds Crown Court for the sentencing to hear tributes paid to him.

The court heard the 24-year-old was hardworking, academically gifted and a talented sportsman.

Mr Hillarby's uncle read a victim statement to the court on behalf of his parents, Richard and Heather.

He said: "He was a wonderful and cherished only son.

"He was always kind, thoughtful and amusing."

The court heard Mr Hillarby was a straight A student who had graduated with a first class degree in geography.

At the time of his death he was completing his masters degree in preparation for a job in environmental consultancy.

On the day of his death he had been working on his dissertation before setting off to meet his friends in Leeds.

The statement continued: "He was the epitome of well roundedness - hard working and stable.

"Andrew had everything to live for.

"He was only 24 and he was just starting to reap the rewards of his hard work and studying.

"He was an innocent victim and his death has left a chasm in our lives.

"This is not the empty future we anticipated. We never expected to be bereaved parents."

Richard Woolfall, prosecuting, told the court Malik had been been to collect her niece from Pinderfields Hospital where she worked as a doctor.

Malik's niece's six year-old daughter was also in the vehicle at the time.

A witness described how Malik's Toyota Prius "swerved violently" and mounted the pavement, knocking Mr Hillarby into the air.

He died from his injuries in hospital later that day.

After the collision Malik told police in interview: "I closed my eyes and must have nodded off."

Mr Woolfall said Malik had type two diabetes.

Test showed that her blood sugar levels at the time of the incident were not at a dangerous level.

The court heard Malik had been to see a doctor in the past after suffering blackouts but had not been advised that she should not drive.

Malik, of Windsor Oval, Tingley, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

James Gould, mitigating, said Malik had worked as a supply teacher up until causing Mr Hillarby's death.

The barrister said Malik was a loving wife, mother and grandmother and had no previous convictions.

Mr Gould said Malik felt "profound and genuine sorrow" for what she had done.

Jailing Malik, judge Simon Batiste said it was one of the most difficult case he had ever dealt with.

He told the defendant: "Andrew Hillarby was a 24-year-old man.

"It is clear from what I have read about him that he was an incredible young man.

"This life, with so much to look forward to, has been snuffed out by your driving."

"You must have had some awareness that in the car it was warm, that you had been driving for some time and you must have been getting tired.

"You must have had the opportunity to stop and refresh yourself but you chose not to.

"It brings me no pleasure whatsoever to sentence you."

The judge told Mr Hillarby's family that no sentence he imposed could ever compensate for the loss of his life.

He said: "I want to pay testament to his family for the bravery and dignity that have shown in court today.

"It is difficult to imagine the suffering that they have gone through and continue to go through."