Dangerous driver caught in Waltham Forest thanks to ‘uncanny’ sketch

The sketch helped prove he was the driver who killed a young man last December
By Waltham Forest Echo

Danny Smith and the witness sketch that helped identify him (credit: Met)
Danny Smith and the witness sketch that helped identify him (credit: Met)

A “habitual criminal” who killed a young man in a car crash was caught after being arrested in Waltham Forest thanks to an “uncanny” witness sketch.

Danny Smith, a 44-year-old from Chigwell, was sentenced to 24 years in prison at Snaresbrook Crown Court earlier this month for a long list of offences, including dangerous driving, burglary and robbery.

He must serve at least 12 years of his sentence before he is up for parole and was also banned from driving for 23 years and five months.

Last December, Smith was driving in Redbridge and attempted to overtake two cars in front of him when he hit a motorcycle being ridden by 20-year-old Saleem Ahmed. 

Saleem, who was making his way home after spending time with his brother in Romford, was left with catastrophic injuries and died at the scene.

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A witness who spotted Smith driving “in an erratic manner” before the crash drew a sketch of his face for police and, on 7th February this year, Smith was arrested in Waltham Forest after “reversing into a police vehicle”. 

While forensic evidence could prove he was inside the Audi that hit Saleem months prior, it was the witness’ sketch that helped prove he was the driver, forcing Smith to plead guilty. 

In a statement following his sentence, Saleem’s family said: “Saleem was taken in such cruel circumstances that, for years to come, it will affect us all as a family, our friends and our community. 

“I will forever be thankful to the witnesses on the night of the incident; the help they gave to my son, comforting him as he passed away and to the ones who helped bring Danny Smith to justice, I will be forever grateful.

“Nothing will ever bring Saleem back but it helps knowing that a dangerous criminal is back where he belongs and can no longer ruin other lives, which is what we fought so hard for.”

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