A WORCESTER taxi driver has escaped a driving ban despite driving off and leaving a passenger fatally injured in the middle of the road.
Mirza Baig was found guilty by magistrates of failing to stop and failing to report an accident after Simon Ordidge climbed out of his taxi as it drove along Northwick Road, Worcester.
The dad-of-two, of St Moritz Close, Northwick, was returning home from a night out with his best friend Jonathan Tracey when he suffered serious head injuries, including a fractured skull, in June last year.
As previously reported in your Worcester News, he died two days later at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry, aged 32.
Yesterday Baig was fined £450 and his licence endorsed with nine points – not enough to ban him from driving.
During a two-day trial at Worcester Magistrates Court, Mark Johnson, prosecuting, suggested Baig knew enough about the accident to stop and report it to police, even if he had not realised the seriousness of Mr Ordidge’s injuries.
Speaking through an interpreter, Baig, aged 42, who has been a taxi driver for three years, said: “My speed was very slow and from my experience I thought that if he was injured they would only be minor injuries.”
His defence team argued that Baig had not fully understood the prosecution’s questioning and stressed he was not aware of the moment Mr Ordidge hit his head on the road.
As previously reported, Baig believed Mr Ordidge and Mr Tracey, to be “runners” intent on leaving the taxi without paying the fare.
He claimed he was scared to stop at the scene in case they assaulted him, following an earlier dispute over spilled beer after which the three men agreed to go to Worcester police station in the taxi.
Baig, who had locked the doors and was heading to the police station when Mr Ordidge left the taxi, was alerted to his fall by Mr Tracey banging on the glass partition.
“When Mr Tracey banged on the window and said, ‘Stop, my friend has jumped out’, it is quite clear he was worried by what had gone on,” said Mr Johnson.
“The defendant accepts that one of the young men in the back of the taxi had jumped out when it was moving. He stopped straight away and released the lock.
“At that stage he has a duty to find out what has occurred.
“We have a man who has done a dangerous thing, who is lying on a dark road, at night, in a position where he could be hit by traffic.”
As well as the nine penalty points Baig, of Arrowsmith Avenue, St John’s, Worcester, was fined £450 and ordered to pay £775 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.