Driver who ran over a basketball player in Harlesden has appeal denied

Abdiweil Gedi ran over Jamal Ali in his Range Rover

A driver who ended the career of a semi-professional basketball player when he ploughed into him during a violent street brawl today failed in an appeal against his sentence.

Abdiweli Gedi, 20, of Llewellyn Road, Bermondsey, ran into Jamal Ali outside The Lodge bar, in Harlesden High Street, in November 2009.

Gedi was convicted last May at the Old Bailey of causing grievous bodily harm and three counts of trying to cause GBH to other men he ran over - and was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.

He appealed today, but his case was thrown out of court by Lord Justice Pill, Mr Justice Owen and Judge Andrew Patience QC at the Court of Appeal.

Lord Justice Pill told how a fight had broken out between rival groups of men near The Lodge bar, in Harlesden, around 4am on November 1, 2009.

Gedi, who had not been involved, got into a hired Range Rover and deliberately ran down three men, fortunately not causing any serious injury.

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But, after driving a short distance away, he turned the car around and returned, running into Mr Ali, who had been punched into the road in the fight.

He was struck and dragged 20 yards, causing serious injuries to his head, chest and liver and ending his semi-professional basketball career.

Sentencing Gedi, the Old Bailey judge said he had used the car as a ‘potentially lethal weapon’, ignoring the risk of seriously injuring someone.

Today, his lawyers argued that the sentence was too long for a first-time offender who had acted impulsively.

Lord Justice Pill said: “The seriousness of these offences must be marked by a sentence of substantial length. Severe though this sentence was, it was, in our judgment, justified in the circumstances of the case.”