A university student who mowed down and killed an 11-year-old schoolboy as his horrified father looked on was jailed for more than two years today.
Bilal Dar, 24, jumped a red light and ploughed into Aaron Matharu in his black VW Polo seconds after the lad popped out to pick his father up something to eat.
Aaron, a year seven pupil at Cranford Community College, was hit after he stepped off a traffic island in nearby Bath Road, Hounslow, when he was hit at 5.45pm on 30 September 2016.
Bilal Dar was for two years and three months after admitting causing the death of Aaron Matharu by dangerous driving
Passers-by and other motorists gave him emergency CPR in a desperate attempt to save his life before paramedics arrived, but Aaron died in hospital later that evening.
‘Cruelly, the only person who witnessed the collision itself was Aaron’s father, Kuli Matharu,’ said prosecutor Robert Forrest.
‘By chance he looked over towards the junction from his bedroom window shortly after his son left to see how he was getting on.
‘He saw the moment of impact but could not see how this defendant drove before the collision.’
CCTV footage showed Dar had been driving at speeds of up to 54mph on the 40mph dual-carriageway moments before the accident.
The Old Bailey heard he jumped a red light shortly before the island Aaron had been standing on which left him no time to stop.
He admitted causing death by dangerous driving on what was scheduled to be the first day of his trial earlier this week and was today jailed for two years and three months.
‘On 30 September 2016, 11-year-old Aaron Matharu having returned from a day at best play school in mathura went out on an errand and was struck by the car you were driving,’ said Judge Anthony Leonard QC.
‘He died from his injuries despite all that the passers-by and paramedics who attended the scene were able to do for him.
‘Aaron’s father, Kuli Matharu, witnessed the point of impact from his bedroom window.
‘I have no doubt that his family will forever feel an unending grief at the loss of a boy whose young life had barely started.’
In a victim impact statement Mr Mathura set out the ‘devastating’ effect of Aaron’s death on their family.
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‘Aaron was my world, my pride and joy,’ he said.
‘I will not get to see him grow into the young man he was turning into.’
Mr Mathura said that he lost his job as a delivery driver due to the amount of time he had to take off work whilst grieving.
His wife could not bear accompanying him to court where she would have to listen to how he died, he added.
‘It is easy to imagine what it must be like for him to open his curtains each morning and look out on the scene of this tragedy,’ said Judge Anthony Leonard QC.
‘I accept that for them both and for his extended family this has been utterly heart-wrenching.’
He added: ‘I have no doubt that you, Bilal Dar, will be haunted by the memory of what you did that day for the rest of your life as well.’
Mr Forrest explained that Aaron had been to school that day before heading to the primary school where his mother worked and getting a lift home by his father.
Aaron Matharu’s father said the youngster ‘was my world, my pride and joy’ but saw him killed by Dar after he jumped a red light
At home, he got changed and chatted with a relative in India over the phone as Mr Matharu got ready for work.
Whilst doing so, Mr Matharu asked Aaron to nip out to get him some food from a local takeaway he had visited in the past.
‘Aaron was happy to oblige,’ continued Mr Forrest.
‘After about a minute or so, Mr Matharu looked out of his bedroom window and within a second or so he saw the terrible sight of his son being struck by a vehicle which was travelling westbound of Bath Road.
‘Mr Matharu saw the car hit Aaron’s legs and throw him up in the air. His father said he saw his son flipped over like a ragdoll.’
The delivery driver ran outside ‘as fast as he could’ and fellow drivers pulled over to tend to the stricken youngster.
After a few minutes he shouted out demanding to know who had been driving.
Dar stepped forward ‘shaking like a leaf’, pleading: ‘He ran out, he just ran out.’
He had earlier driven home from Reading University where he is still studying computer science and was on his way to work at a courier firm to fund his tuition.
Defending, Robert Harding, said Dar was ‘probably the most meek and mild defendant’ he has ever represented.
He added that the remorse he showed at the scene has continued and described the ‘monumental impact’ it has had on his life.
‘The sorrow and remorse this young man feels cannot begin to be overstated,’ said Mr Harding.
‘The effect on Mr Dar and his family from the moment this tragic accident occurred, right through to now, Mr Dar has been in tears.
Aaron Matharu’s father ran outside ‘as fast as he could’ and fellow drivers pulled over to tend to the stricken youngster
‘It has changed his life.
‘Within the tightknit community in which his family exists he has been shunned by others.’
He added: ‘This is not just living with taking someone’s life – this is the life of a child we are talking about, and this is the cross he must bear for the rest of his life.’
The court heard Dar had not been in a car since the accident and will likely avoid doing so in the future.
He waved to relatives up in the public gallery before sitting down and wiping tears from his eyes when the judge refused him bail during a short adjournment to consider sentence.
Dar, or St Leonard’s Gardens, Hounslow, Middlesex, was jailed for two years and three months.
He was also banned from driving for six years and one month and ordered to take an extended retest before his licence is restored.