Driver jailed for running over and killing Wembley student in Willesden loses appeal

Yousef Zayni on his graduation day

Yousef Zayni on his graduation day - Credit: Archant

A refuse truck driver jailed for causing a Wembley man’s death by reversing into him in a “tragic” accident has failed to convince top judges his jail term was too harsh.

Jakub Szymon Murlewski, 29, from Hayes, was backing up a three-and-a-half tonne Mercedes truck at the Sapcote Trading Centre, in Dudden Hill Lane, Willesden, in December 2011, when he hit 23-year-old Yousef Zayni, who died at the scene.

Murlewski was jailed for 36 weeks at Harrow Crown Court in June after he was convicted of causing death by careless driving.

Today, three senior judges at London’s Court of Appeal rejected a sentence challenge by Murlewski, saying his jail term was “neither wrong in principle nor manifestly excessive”.

Mr Justice Macduff said Murlewski was reversing the refuse-collection truck at about 7.5 mph when it collided with Mr Zayni a recent bio-medical science graduate from Brunel University who was on his way to work from his home in Preston Road.

Mr Justice Macduff said drivers might manoeuvre in the same way as Murlewski had on any given day across the country without such “tragic” consequences, but that he should have been anticipating pedestrians behind him.

He added: “Many drivers reversing along that road in these circumstances for 90 metres would have been driving at a significantly slower speed - almost inching backwards.”

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Murlewski was cleared of the more serious offence of causing death by dangerous driving.

Appealing his sentence, Murlewski’s barrister, Harry Potter, argued it was simply too long.

But the appeal judge, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Dingemans, concluded: “The sentencing judge considered - and we find he considered correctly - the sentencing guidelines.

“That was, in all the circumstances, the proper sentence. It was neither wrong in principle nor manifestly excessive. Accordingly, this application fails.”

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