Rolls Royce driver admits killing pedestrian near Buckingham Palace

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A member of the Qatari royal family has admitted to running and hitting a pedestrian after speeding past a traffic light Buckingham Palace.

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42-year-old Hassan Nasser Al-Thani £250,000 in purple. were behind the wheel of Rolls-Royce The Wraith who struck and killed 66-year-old Charles Roberts while crossing the Duke of Wellington Place, at Hyde Park Corner.

NS old Bailey Heard that Mr Roberts was only two seconds away from completing his crossing when he was mortally wounded, while al-Thani had accelerated to over 50 mph in the moments before the accident.


The businessman, who shipped a car from Qatar to the UK less than three weeks before the accident on August 22, 2019, has pleaded guilty to causing death by reckless driving.

London’s Common Sergeant Judge Richard Marks QC, handed down an eight-month prison sentence on Tuesday afternoon, said al-Thani had told a probation officer that “it’s hard to say if you were speeding and you did was. I don’t think you were”.

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“I feel like you’re still in denial and trying to downplay the seriousness of your driving style.

“You were driving a powerful car with a 6.6 liter V12 engine – shortly before impact, you were driving at no less than twice the legal limit. Therein lies the gravity of the offence.

“You clearly saw Mr. Roberts too late, for which there can be no explanation other than that you simply weren’t paying due attention.”

The court heard that al-Thani is a member of the ruling royal family in Qatar and holds the role of a minister. He also runs a road maintenance company that relies heavily on government contracts.

He was given a three-year driving ban that applies to UK roads, and fined £25,000.

Prosecutor Philip McGhee said al-Thani told police after the accident at 3 a.m. that he “did not see” Roberts and suggested that the pedestrian “ran in front of my car – suddenly and without warning”.

But experts determined that the driver had accelerated to between 52mph and 54mph after the lights turned green, when the speed limit was only 30mph.

“Mr. Roberts was seen walking unaided and purposefully, facing traffic, and he stopped to let another car go before he stepped onto the road”, Mr. McGhee said.

“At walking speed, he continued to look in the direction of oncoming traffic.

“At the time, Mr. Al-Thani’s car was stationary at one of the red lights. As Mr. Roberts stepped onto the road, vehicles stopped at a traffic light at the Duke of Wellington Place began to stop.

Prosecutors said al-Thani’s car, which was almost new, could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, and that the driver was unmoved as Mr Roberts approached. He applied the brakes before the collision, but he was still traveling at least 25mph.

“Had Mr al-Thani been driving below the 30 mph speed limit and had fully applied the brakes, his car would have stalled”, Mr McGhee said.

“Even if he was at the speed limit, Mr. Roberts may have had enough time to cross the road or at least clear the front of Mr. Al-Thani’s car.”

The court heard that Mr Roberts, a former Network Rail signals manager, lived with his brother Peter in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, and was a volunteer guard on the Bluebell Railway.

He was attached to an emergency blood delivery courier service, and was hoping to retrain as an office-based comptroller upon retirement, the court heard.

Al-Thani, who lives in a luxury apartment in the Prince of Wales Terrace in Kensington, west London, initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, but pleaded guilty to death by reckless driving on Tuesday afternoon.

He stopped at the crash site and called 999 to assist Mr. Roberts. Simon Soka Qusi, who represents al-Thani, said “he completely understands the pain and suffering that he has gone through”.

Arguing that al-Thani should be given an immediate prison sentence, Mr Soka told the court: “It is expected that family members play a special role in the ministry, on the grounds that the extended family is trusted by the Emir. is done.

“Due to the nature of Qatari society, obtaining a contract … is dependent on a degree of status. The fact that he is a member of the al-Thani family depends on whether he receives the contract.

“If he is sentenced to immediate imprisonment, purely from the point of view of the fact that he is a prisoner, it will have a reputational effect on his business.”

Al-Thani was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £3,200.


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