A DRIVER has been jailed after killing a loved father in Alvechurch, ripping apart the lives of his family.

Sania Shabbir aged 27 killed Martyn Gall and seriously injured James Middleton when they were cycling together in Alvechurch.

The pair were hit by a car being driven by Shabbir on the Redditch bypass just before 8am on November 14, 2020.

Martyn, 41, was killed and James, now 33, suffered horrific injuries including a serious brain injury and spent four months in hospital, suffering lifelong consequences of the collision.

On Wednesday, June 14 at Birmingham Crown Court Shabbir of Dale Road, Redditch was sentenced to four and a half years in prison. 

After initially pleading not guilty to charges of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving, Shabbir admitted the crimes on the day her trial was due to start in April.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Martyn Gall.Martyn Gall. (Image: Diane Gall.)

Martyn’s widow, Diane Gall said even though the sentencing won’t do anything to fill the ‘massive Martyn shaped hole’ in their lives ‘it’s good to finally see justice done’.

She said: “Although nothing could ease the grief that we are suffering, we could have been spared the distress of a prolonged court process if Sania Shabbir had admitted her guilt two and a half years ago, instead of the day her trial was about to start last month. 

“The day Martyn died, the lives of all of his family and friends were ripped apart and nearly three years later his loss is still unbearable.

“Martyn was everything to all of us, especially me, his wife, and our daughters who lost their dad aged just 15 and 17 when their lives had been full of hope for the future.

“Instead, their world imploded, and we are only starting to try to pick up the pieces.

“The court has heard that the utter devastation we have had to face was caused by dangerous driving and it is right that the driver is held accountable for Martyn’s death. 

“There had to be justice for Martyn’s death. I am an educator, I teach children the same thing that Martyn and I taught our daughters – to tell the truth and take responsibility, no matter how hard that is.

"It is some relief to us that there will be accountability for the terrible loss of Martyn’s life.”

Diana thanked RoadPeace, which has supported the family since Martyn’s death, and said she will continue to work for their campaign for safety.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Sania Shabbir.Sania Shabbir. (Image: West Mercia Police.)

She added: “If I can just make drivers hear my message to drive more carefully so that other families don’t have to go through this so that their dad, husband, or son, wife, mum or daughter is not killed, then maybe something will come out of the utter hell we have suffered.”

James Middleton’s fiancée, Antonia Wells said James was ‘simply out for a bike ride with his friend, doing what he loved best’.

“In an instant, one mistake, one lapse in concentration of the driver changed everything,” said Antonia.

“James’s injuries were horrific, he will never be able to live the life he had before that day and together we must live with the consequences of the driver’s actions forever.

“Despite that, I know that we were the lucky ones as James survived the collision. I want to express our deep sadness that Martyn did not survive.”

Shabbir’s full sentence is four and half years’ imprisonment, to be served concurrently with a two-and-a-half-year sentence in respect of the serious injury offence. 

She was also disqualified from driving for four years and nine months, with a condition to pass an extended driving test thereafter.

Both families were represented by Bethany Saunders, a partner at law firm Leigh Day. Bethany said the case was ‘truly tragic’ and ‘many lives were torn apart by the impact’ of the crash.