Banned drink driver who caused death of gran in taxi crash jailed

Dawid Zywicki was driving at speed when he ploughed head on into a private hire taxi, in which Margaret Pearson was a passenger.

Banned drink driver Dawid Zywicki who caused death of gran after ploughing into taxi jailed for nine years SNS Group

A banned drink driver who caused a collision which led to the death of a much loved grandmother has been jailed for nine years. 

Dawid Zywicki, 28, had 15 previous road traffic convictions when he got behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta van on March 27 2022. 

The high court heard how he was more than three times the drink driving limit on the night. 

He was going at speed when he ended up crashing head on into a private hire taxi in which Margaret Pearson was a back seat passenger.

The court heard how Margaret, 75, sustained serious injuries during the collision which took place in Todd Street in Haghill, Glasgow.

She later died from her injuries in the city’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. 

Meanwhile, Zywicki’s vehicle also struck a man who was fixing his tyre at the side of the road, with the man left badly hurt. 

Judge Lord Scott remanded Zywicki in custody following a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow last month. He also called for a report in the repeat offender’s background. 

On Tuesday, Zywicki, a prisoner of HMP Barlinnie, reappeared for sentencing at the High Court in Edinburgh.

His lawyer Paul Nelson KC asked Lord Scott to be as lenient as he could be in the circumstances. 

However, Lord Scott told him that the nature of his offending meant that only a jail term was appropriate. 

In his sentencing statement, the judge made reference to the “significant and lasting” damage that have been caused to Mrs Pearson’s family as a consequence of her death. 

But he also made reference to remarks that Zywicki had made to court appointed social workers. 

He added: “I have had regard to the victim impact statements that have been submitted to the court by Margaret Pearson’s daughters. 

“They describe the significant and lasting damage done to them and to their father for whom Mrs Pearson was his primary carer. 

“The continue to suffer due to the trauma caused to them by you. 

“The Criminal Justice Social Work Report suggests you have created a false narrative about these offences in that you are continuing to diminish your personal culpability for the harm you have caused. 

“Only a prison sentence is appropriate in the circumstances. 

“This is not only to punish you but to deter others from behaving in such a way and to protect the public from you.” 

At earlier proceedings, Zywicki pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death and serious injury.

Prosecutor Gavin Anderson KC told the court that Margaret had spent that evening with her friend at the city’s King’s Theatre.

The women then shared a taxi home – her friend was dropped off first leaving the pensioner in the back.

Zywicki – who had never held a full driving licence – was in the same area in the meantime in his vehicle.

Mr Anderson told the court: “The taxi driver saw the headlights of the oncoming van.

“He later described Zywicki’s approach as ‘being fast, like motorway speed’.

“Zywicki – who was also wearing no seatbelt – had gone on to the opposite side of the road before ploughing into the black Mercedes.”

This caused the taxi to then spin and hit the man by the side of the road and his Ford Focus.

The man had been trying to repair a puncture in his motor at the time. Witnesses rushed to help with Margaret found unconscious.

Emergency service crews arrived and took her to hospital. The pensioner had suffered bleeding around the brain and a spinal fracture.

Margaret – who was also a mum of five – never recovered and passed away on March 31.

The man needed corrective surgery for serious injuries to his left leg and was in hospital for five days.

The court heard Zywicki was found to have not less than 179mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 50mg.

Mr Anderson further explained Zywicki was also a disqualified driver at the time having been banned in July 2019.

He added: “He has never had a full driving licence. He has held a provisional licence.”

The court heard Zywicki already had two convictions for drink driving, two for getting behind the wheel while already banned, one for dangerous driving and another for careless.

He had a further five for having no insurance and a final four for driving without a proper licence.

Following that hearing, Margaret’s heartbroken family released a statement via Digby Brown Solicitors after the hearing.

It read: “There is no amount of justice which would comfort us over the loss. She was such an important person in our lives.”

Describing the content of the victim impact statements, Lord Scott said: “Their description of the impact of the Covid restrictions on seeing their mother in her last four days is extremely moving. 

“Their lives have been changed dramatically and their mental health continues to suffer from the trauma caused by you.”

On Tuesday, defence advocate Paul Nelson KC urged Lord Scott to be as lenient as he could be in the circumstances. 

He said that because his client pleaded guilty to the offences at the earliest opportunity, Lord Scott could reduce his client’s sentence. 

He added: “He accepts his full responsibility for happened.”

Lord Scott also banned Zywicki from driving for life.

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