Man pleads guilty over drag death

A HOON motorist whose drag-racing contributed to the death of a grandfather of eight was later caught speeding three times and also twice driving while suspended.
Nanjing Night Net

Raymond Grech and Mustafa Salih were seen ”competitive racing” and changing lanes like a game of ”dog after a cat” before Grech’s car struck Mehmed Bajric.

Mr Bajric, 78, a Bosnian refugee – described as hardworking, loving and generous – died trying to cross a road after leaving his mosque in Cairnlea.

A judge who imposed a suspended sentence in February on Grech, whose licence was suspended at the time of the incident in March, 2008, said his driving was aggressive.

While prosecutor Damien Hannan had argued against such a sentence, he said if one was imposed the Crown would not appeal it.

Judge John Smallwood regarded Grech’s plea as accompanied by remorse and took into account the long delay before sentencing.

Salih, 28, like Grech, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death, and on Thursday appeared before Judge John Carmody, who heard both drivers were unknown to each other.

Mr Hannan said after Grech got a ”rolling start” at traffic lights, a stationary Salih accelerated and both then ”accelerated as fast as they could” to get in front of each other.

Their speed was estimated at a minimum of 100 kilometres an hour in the 80-zone before Salih avoided Mr Bajric, who was struck by Grech’s car. Mr Bajric was then hit by a car driven by a friend of Grech’s.

Defence barrister David Langton accepted that Salih’s later driving offences clouded his prospects for rehabilitation, but noted none followed being charged in 2010.

Salih, a storeman of Deer Park, will be sentenced next week.

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