Birmingham joyrider: “I wish I could serve 25 years and my dead friend come back”

Zaheer Mahmood, 26

A drunk joyrider who crashed into a wall, cradled his best friend’s lifeless body and told police: “If I could serve 25 years and he could come back, let it be so.”

Zaheer Mahmood, 26, killed childhood pal Shoaib Khan, 24, in the smash on Clifton Road, Balsall Heath after drinking vodka with friends.

He had taken the Audi A6 without the permission of its owner with Shoaib in the front passenger seat and two other friends in the back on December 9 last year.

Birmingham Crown Court heard that Mahmood, of Newport Road, Balsall Heath, and Shoaib had grown up together.

His Honour Judge James Burbidge, QC, told Mahmood: “You reasoned a short drive would not hurt anyone.

“This incident shows how short-sighted that is.

“It is said you just felt the urge to drive the car. That is atrocious rationale, almost breathless arrogance.”

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Robert Grice, prosecuting, said Mahmood, Shoaib and a group of friends had been drinking vodka on Ladypool Road.

But when the owner of the Audi A6 left the car with the keys in the ignition, Mahmood got into the driver’s seat and drove away.

Banned in 2009 after totting up points on his licence, he also drove at more than twice the drink drive limit.

Mr Grice said the journey lasted less than 30 seconds before Mahmood clipped a kerb on a bend.

“The defendant just lost control of the car because he was drunk and going too fast for that bend.

“The deceased was thrown into the door with the window open and it is likely his head struck the wall as the car went past it.”

Mahmood dragged Shoaib’s lifeless body from the wreck and, realising he was seriously hurt, cradled the body until emergency services arrived.

The former Moseley School pupil was pronounced dead at the scene from major head injuries.

Mahmood pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving while unfit through drink and causing death by driving while uninsured and disqualified and was jailed for four years.

Balbir Singh, defending, said: “There is no suggestion Zaheer Mahmood either that night or ever in his life, ever wished for any harm to befall Shoaib.

“They were exceptionally close.

“There were a combination of circumstances that come together to cause the fatal injury; the open window, the failure to be wearing a seatbelt.

Jailing Mahmood, Judge Burbidge added: “I accept you will carry the tragedy that you caused for the rest of your life.

“I recognise those who are his family will have severe, everlasting suffering from his loss.”

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