A motorist whose dangerous driving cost the life of his friend has been jailed for five years and faces a five-year driving ban once he is released.
On Friday, 19 January, following a five-day trial, Travis James Madden, 22, a mechanic, of West Way, Three Bridges, Crawley, was convicted by a jury at Hove Crown Court of causing the death by dangerous driving of Shahid Moghal, 22, a front-seat passenger in a silver Toyota Starlet hatchback car that Madden was driving on 14 October 2016.
At around 8pm the car smashed into a tree on the A2011 Crawley Avenue, Crawley, killing Mr Moghal, from Furnace Green, Crawley. Madden sustained serious leg injuries.
Prior to the trial, Madden admitted causing Mr Moghal’s death while uninsured, and five unrelated counts of dangerous driving on roads in Sussex and Surrey while riding a Kawasaki ZX6R motorcycle between June and September 2016.
The dangerous driving offences were recorded on a helmet-mounted video camera, which Madden was ordered to forfeit, together with his motorcycle.
He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for the causing death whilst uninsured offence, and six months on each of the dangerous driving offences, all to run concurrently and all concurrent to his five year jail term, so that he is imprisoned for five years in all.
Judge Jeremy Gold told Madden: “Your mindset at the time of the collision was that you drove in pursuit of thrill-seeking, no doubt thinking you were invincible. This case in an example of the tragedy that comes from that mindset.”
After the sentencing, Sergeant Rob Baldwin, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “An independent witness who saw the collision told the court how he saw Madden performing a ‘Formula One slip-
stream overtake’ of another vehicle, before losing control of his vehicle, leaving the road and colliding with a tree.
“During the course of our investigation we recovered videos from Madden’s mobile phone, and subsequently from his home computer. These videos were recorded by Madden himself whilst riding his high-powered Kawasaki motorcycle in the four months prior to the fatal collision.
“The videos showed him riding at grossly excessive speeds, racing, undertaking other vehicles, and on one occasion using a mobile phone whilst riding at speed.
“It is clear that Madden was a young man who enjoyed the thrill of speed, and had a propensity to drive dangerously, with little or no room for error. He had no regard to the risks he posed to other road users or to himself. Driving in this manner, it was inevitable that at some point he would crash.