Life for Van Driver Who Killed Chiswick Cobbler

Widow Questions System That Allowed Mental Patient’s Fatal A4 Rampage

An Old Bailey has sentenced a car thief high on 'skunk' cannabis to life imprisonment for killing a Chiswick cobbler Naqibullah Aman.

20 year old mental patient Malachi Adam-Smith was driving a stolen white Ford Transit van at speeds of more than 60mph along the A4 when he smashed into the back of Naqibullah Aman in the cycle lane of the A4 near Brook Lane, Brentford in April 2006. Mr Aman was thrown clear from his bike and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Adam-Smith, whose drug induced state led him to believe that he was Superman, was arrested after police managed to get him to pull over near Chiswick roundabout.

During the trial, the court heard how Adam-Smith had previously been arrested for domestic violence and sent to a psychiatric unit in Highbury, before escaping. He was caught, but managed to escape again when he went on his A4 rampage.

He denied murder but admitted manslaughter due to diminished responsibility because of his psychosis from smoking too much cannabis. He was given a life sentence and will serve a minimum of three years and four months before being considered for parole.

In her 'Victim Impact Statement', Mr Aman's pregnant widow, Lina Ahadi, questioned how Adam-Smith had been able to escape from the psychiatric hospital where he was being treated.  She said "I am left to explain to my sons how their father died in the most horrendous circumstances. I will tell them that he was killed by a man whom he had never met, a man who should have been locked up in hospital."

However, the Social Care Trust responsible for the Islington hospital stated "The fact that the sentence is not a hospital order, but a prison sentence, indicates that the court believes that this is primarily a criminal issue, not a mental health issue."

February 15, 2007