A man charged with causing the death of a Cambridge University student was cleared of charges in court this week.
Shahriar Firouzian, 52, was driving a night bus in Hampstead, north London in September 2010 when he caused the death of the student. Singapore-born Mingwei Tan, 20, was studying medicine at the University.
The jury in the trial was discharged from Blackfriars Crown Court in south London yesterday, as Judge John Hillen formally entered a verdict of not guilty.
The court had gathered to hear evidence from Firouzian, but the jury were dismissed after prosecutor Hamish Reid announced that a review of the case had decided not to proceed. He said: “The Crown Prosecution Service are satisfied there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction and would not seek to take this any further.”
Judge Hillen said the prosecution’s conclusion of insufficient evidence was “entirely proper” and told the jurors they had still played an essential role in the trial.
Firouzian, who denied the charge, listened with his head bowed as his translator explained the court proceedings. Originally from Iran, he had been working for employers Metroline since 2003.
A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Court said the lack of evidence against Firouzian “weakened the prosecution case” and thus the court was “unable to prove that Shahriar Firouzian had driven at a standard which was below that of a competent and careful driver.”
The statement added: “In line with our duty to keep cases under continuous review we have re-reviewed this case and concluded that there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.”
Firouzian’s solicitor read a statement on the steps of the court, expressing his awareness of the loss suffered to Miss Tan’s family. He concluded: “This whole matter has been a tragedy for all the parties concerned.”
Connie Fisher – Deputy News Editor