A taxi driver sobbed as he received a suspended prison sentence today after a teenage passenger fell out of his moving vehicle and died.
Jawaid Iqbal, 42, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving after Lisa Saville tumbled out of his moving vehicle and hit her head on the ground in City Lane, Wheatley, Halifax, in the early hours of March 4.
The 19-year-old had been on a night out with friends when a dispute took place over the fare which involved another passenger in the taxi.
Bradford Crown Court heard Daniel Briggs became "aggressive and abusive" with Iqbal and it was decided the taxi would pull over.
The court was told Mr Briggs, 25, punched Iqbal in the head before leaving the vehicle.
In a moment of "panic" Iqbal started to move off, leaving Miss Saville in the back of the taxi.
Judge Robert Bartfield told him: "Lisa was left in the back of the cab with the door open or partially open, you nonetheless drove on.
"You should have stopped. What you did was drive a passenger in your vehicle with the door open with the risk that they may seek to leave the vehicle.
"You drove off when you realised she was no longer there in the cab. You did not turn back to see what had happened."
The court was told Iqbal drove back to the taxi rank and later cleaned his vehicle.
The teenager was on the "very threshold of her life," the court was told.
The judge added: "Her loss is as devastating today as it was when she met her untimely death."
Iqbal, formerly of Glenholme Heath, Halifax, received a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and was banned from driving for a year.
He was also made to do 100 hours unpaid work and ordered not to enter Halifax during the period of the punishment.
The judge said no prison sentence would bring back Miss Saville, but Iqbal, would "have to live with this for the rest of your life".
The court was told Iqbal, who now lives in the Worcester area, had been psychologically affected by the tragedy.
During a short spell on remand he was seriously assaulted by fellow inmates, the court was told.