A DUSTCART driver who reversed over and killed a Brunel University graduate was acquitted by a jury of causing death by dangerous driving but convicted of the alternative charge of causing death by careless driving.
Jakub Murlewski, 28, of Wood End Green Road, Hayes, was behind the wheel of the three-and-a-half tonne lorry that crushed pedestrian Yousef Zayni in a Neasden trading estate, causing fatal head injuries and triggering a heart attack.
Murlewski, a married man who served 11 months in the Polish army, denied both causing death by dangerous driving and the alternative charge. He will be sentenced on Wednesday, July 24.
Harrow Crown Court heard how Mr Zayni, 23, a graduate of Brunel University in Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, had been on his way to work and was cutting through the trading estate, listening to music at high volume through earphones.
Murlewski’s counsel Harry Potter had told the court: “It seems to be a simple miscalculation, an error of judgement. So easy to make.
“He was going faster than either of them thought.
“Mr Zayni had his volume up and the evidence shows he wouldn’t have heard the lorry.”
Earlier, prosecutor Peter Finnigan had told the court: “[Mr Zayni’s] death was entirely avoidable.
“Of course, the defendant didn’t intend to run Mr Zayni over, and after the collision he did what he could to help.”
The court had been told that, although there was another person, Mark Summers, in the cab, Murlewski did not follow his employer SITA UK’s own safety procedures and ask his colleague to help him reverse.
Mr Finnigan said Mr Murlewski should have seen Mr Zayni on a dashboard monitor relaying images from a camera mounted on the back of the lorry.
The camera was installed specifically to cover what was a blind spot if the driver used mirrors alone for reversing.
The lorry’s audible reversing alarm had been disconnected some time between a full service it had on December 1 and the accident at 9.20am on December 13, 2011.
The court was told that although Mr Murlewski was not accused of tampering with the alarm, he should have realised it was not working during his routine morning checks, and reported the problem to his bosses.
In his closing speech on Thursday last week, Mr Finnigan said: “It’s a terrible sad case, so very sad for the family of the deceased and it’s terribly sad for the defendant who is a decent man who has worked hard.
“He reversed far too fast into an area which he knew contained people and which therefore posed serious danger.
“Whatever the reason – the culture, the pressure – it should not have happened and he should have taken more care, and he should have asked somebody to act as his eyes and ears. It’s common sense.
“There was no good reason apart from haste and a lack of proper attention why he shouldn’t have seen Mr Zayni walking to work that day.”