Seven years for drunk Archway hit and run killer

Tawanda Marau

Tawanda Marau - Credit: Archant

Speeding motorist ran red light and killed student before removing number plates and hiding his car keys

Flowers at the scene of where Mr Gashi was killed instantly by the speeding Fiat Brava

Flowers at the scene of where Mr Gashi was killed instantly by the speeding Fiat Brava - Credit: Archant

A drunk driver who instantly killed a pedestrian when he ran a red light has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Tawanda Marau, of Junction Road, Archway, was travelling an estimated 51mph when he ploughed through a traffic light pole and a bollard outside Camden Road station before sending 25-year-old Agron Gashi, who was standing on a traffic island, flying down the road.

Marau, 23, who was more than double the drink drive limit after a night out clubbing in Farringdon, then drove off running a further red light and crashing into another bollard after the incident which took place at 8.48am on March 1.

He was later arrested in the Finchely Road area near Swiss Cottage, but not before he had removed the number plates from his Fiat Brava and hidden his car keys between his buttocks – which officers later discovered during a strip search.

Marau pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and attempting to pervert the course of justice at a preliminary hearing last month and was sentenced to six years for the former and a further year for the latter to run consecutively. He was also banned from driving for nine-and-a-half years.

Judge Henry Blacksell QC, sentencing, said: “On that day, at that time, another young man was going about his life. He had friends, he had relatives, he had a life.

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“The way you drove that vehicle and the decision you made took a way a life.

“Anybody who has had to watch that CCTV footage as those who were stunned as they went about their daily lives and watched what unfolded in front of them could see, you were travelling at a grossly excessive speed hardly able to control your vehicle.

“It’s said you did not even see the poor pedestrian you killed – it’s dreadful, I could see you were shocked when you saw it.

“You may have been urged to drive on by your passengers but in Camden after, when the police have pieced together the remainder of your journey, we see you go though another red light before crashing into another bollard. Irrespective of the safety of yourself or others.

“It’s a dreadful story, can it get any worse?

“You then hid the plates and secreted the keys away – misleading the police who were trying to find out who has caused this dreadful accident.”

Marau, who had been clubbing in Farringdon, said that he had intended to leave his car to collect the next day but was persuaded by his friends to give them a lift home.

He also said that he did not realise he had hit Mr Gashi, and that is why he fled the scene.

A statement from Mr Gashi’s mother Shehide, read out by prosecuting barrister Ish Sheihk, told how the death of her son, who she brought to London as a refuge from Kosovo when he was just seven, had “cut her in half.

Ms Gashi wrote: “I miss Agron irreplaceably, both of his sisters are very upset and can’t believe Agron will not be back.

“My nine year old fears going out and crossing the street.

“All the consequences that we are suffering are due to the actions of the person that killed my son.

“Even though he pleaded guilty it doesn’t make it easier for us. At the time he did not show any remorse. He left the scene without showing any compassion for our son.

“I always tried to bring my children up in the right way, but someone who I tried to stop my son becoming has caused his death.”