Preston drink driver who killed young dad jailed for causing death by dangerous driving as widow says: "You have robbed our dreams"

A motorist who caused the death of a married Preston dad when he drunkenly drifted onto the wrong side of the road and crashed into him has been jailed for four years.

By Stef Hall
Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 12:30 pm

Matthew Parker, 29, admitted causing the death of trainee teacher Mohammed Hoque by dangerous driving, following the collision on February 15, 2020, at around 12.24am at the junction of Tag Lane and Mayfield Avenue.

Mr Hoque's widow, Hind Darry, told the Post the excited dad had been on his way back from painting their new home in Fulwood, which they bought two weeks before the crash, ready for the couple to move into with their daughter, now four.

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Mohammed Hoque

Addressing the defendant in a victim statement read in court, she said he had ruined their lives with his "selfish choice" adding: "You have robbed our dreams and taken away all the years we had to enjoy as a family.

"Instead of being at home with his family like you are, he is now in a nursing home.

"I don't know if you are sorry or feel any sort of regret. All I can do is let you know what you did is devastating.

"You stole my daughter's father from her - she is only three years old and she needs her Daddy.

Crown Court

"She will never have a brother or sister because of you. She will always be an only child.

"She is so scared of cars if we are walking somewhere.

"He was my best friend, I see him everywhere I go. We have so many memories together. That's all I have now."

Prosecuting, Huw Edwards said officers came across the scene at 12.15am, with debris and liquid in the road.

Parker told them: "' I was just driving and the next thing I know I'm facing sideways."

When they smelled alcohol on him he claimed he had drunk "one beer".

Mr Hoque, who had to be cut free from the wreckage, had suffered a brain haemorrhage, punctured lung, serious abdominal bleeding, broken legs, ribs and facial bones, and was taken to the Royal Preston Hospital.

He required a blood transfusion of 60 units and various surgeries including fitting a ventricular tap in his head, part of his skull removed, and a tracheotomy, but was left in a "vegetative state" and deteriorated.

He needed a feeding tube and several carers to wash, dress and assist him, and had to wear a helmet to protect his brain from further damage when showering.

When Covid struck they could only see him on a video call.

Defending, Andrew Nuttall said: "May I begin as I should by answering the question posed by Mrs Hoque herself in the statement, which is a very moving statement indeed?

"She poses a question whether the defendant is sorry at all.

"He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. It's all he can do and he continually, and I do mean continually, says he is so very very sorry. There is nothing else he can say.

"The def frankly is struggling to deal with the enormity of his actions."

He pointed to a psychiatrist's report which said Parker suffered depression which was a " symptom of his remorse as he is struggling to cope with his guilt and lack of self worth".

He said Parker had lost his job and home as a result of the crash.

Banning him from driving for four years and imposing an extended retest, Judge Simon Medland QC said: "I begin with the most obvious of points which is derived directly from the victim statement of Mr Hoque's widow.

"To quote her: 'There is no punishment which will bring my husband or my daughter's daddy back or make us happy again.'

"It follows from that well made point that no sentence imposed by this court could possibly be taken as the equivalent of the devastation caused by the death of Mohammed Hoque."

He accepted his remorse was genuine, adding: "I accept you did not set out to injure anyone on February 15 but your driving was grossly dangerous because you were more than twice the legal limit for alcohol.

"It is, altogether, an utter tragedy."

Speaking after the case, his wife, who is visiting her parents in Morocco for the first time since the tragedy, said: "The pain is unbearable, I can't even describe it.

"My husband passed away nearly seven months ago and I still can't believe that he has left us.

"He suffered so much from his injuries he was in a vegetative state after he woke up from his coma and remained in that state until he passed away.

"At the beginning I didn't want our daughter to see him and was trying my best so that she didn't see him.

" I was always holding her in my arms and telling her to close her eyes before going into his room in the hospital but it was too hard. I had to explain everything to her.

"She was always scared and she never came near him unfortunately.

"He was just awake but not aware, he couldn't follow commands or even track with his eyes.

"He was always looking towards the left when I used to go to visit him he couldn't even maybe see me. I don't even know if he could hear me.

"They couldn't bath him for so many months or wash his hair because of all his injuries and his missing skull.

"He suffered too much because of this accident and I feel that the sentence was not fair at all."

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