Family's anger at sentences for hit and run death of Luton grandad
The family of a Luton grandfather killed in a hit and run have shared their anger over the sentences handed down to the two men involved in the collision.
Grandad-of-nine, Gurdial Dhalliwal, 74, died on October 29, 2018, after he was struck down by a BMW M5 which had mounted the pavement on Dunstable Road, near Luton & Dunstable Hospital.
The vehicle was driven by 23-year-old Hassan Javaid, and had been rented by Javaid's friend, Anied Saghir, 31, who later falsely reported the hire car stolen to police.
On Friday, April 23, Javaid, of Hayhurst Road, was jailed for four years for causing death by dangerous driving, while Saghir, of Lansdowne Road, received ten months for perverting the course of justice.
Mr Dhalliwal's five children attended Luton Crown Court to witness the pair's sentencing.
His son Sukhvinder told the Luton News: "I was with my brothers and sisters and we couldn't believe what we were hearing.
"We were shocked that it went down to four years, and then it came out that he would only serve two - with the rest on licence.
"It doesn't fit the crime for taking someone's life.
"Our mother is devastated. She didn't want to be in court and when we told her what happened, it was like reliving the day we lost him all over again.
"I'm also angry with the guy who hired the car. He was older and should have known better than to lend a powerful car to someone so irresponsible, who had no insurance. He lied to the police."
The family feel let down by the judicial system and have called for sentencing guidelines to be reviewed by the government.
Sukhvinder said: "The government needs to change the guidelines these judges are given.
"I would like to give judges more power over sentencing. We were told from the start that it would be between four and seven years. We had hoped for seven but it's gone the other way."
Mr Dhalliwal came to the UK from Punjab in 1963 and worked for many years at Wimpey Homes. He was a keen gardener and deeply involved in the local Sikh community as one of its earliest members in Luton.
"Dad was the glue that kept us together," said Sukhvinder. "He helped my sister whenever she needed some DIY and he went to the Gurdwara every Sunday. He was very involved with everyone in the community.
"His grandchildren adored him and he had so much energy, he could take about six of them to the park no problem at all.
"I believe that he easily had another ten or 15 years left and we've lost that time with him. My mum's lost her husband and my children have lost their grandfather.
"Everyone feels lost without him."
Asked what he would say to anyone tempted to drive dangerously, Sukhvinder added: "I would tell them my story and what it's robbed us of. If you're a decent human being, it's something you'll have to live with for the rest of your life.
"I remember on the day my dad died, my wife called me at work in tears, saying there had been accident. I drove straight to the hospital but the traffic was so bad.
"He had already passed away by the time I got there. The doctors said they needed someone to identify him, and so I did that - it was the hardest thing to do.
"We thought it happened when he was crossing the road, and then police said, 'Sorry, he was hit while walking on the pavement.' We were so shocked to hear that.
"It's worst for my mum. She has good days and bad days.
"I hope things will get better but it's still painful and our lives have changed completely."