Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

Peer 'texted' before death crash

Lord Ahmed
Lord Ahmed suffered facial injuries in the collision

A Labour peer has admitted sending and receiving text messages while driving on the M1 just before he was involved in a crash in which a man died.

Lord Ahmed, of Rotherham, was driving his Jaguar when it was in collision with another car on Christmas Day 2007.

The driver of the other car, Martyn Gombar, 28, was killed.

Lord Ahmed, 51, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Sheffield Magistrates' Court and will be sentenced on 22 December.

He was handed an interim driving ban until his sentencing.

The court heard how he sent and received a series of five text messages while driving in the dark at speeds of, and above, 60mph along a 17-mile stretch of the motorway in South Yorkshire.

'Not his fault'

Mr Gombar, a Slovakian who was living at the time in Leigh, Greater Manchester, died when Lord Ahmed's Jaguar was in collision with an Audi car which had stopped in the outside lane of the motorway, the court heard.

The peer suffered injuries to his face and shock in the incident near junction 35 of the southbound carriageway.

Speaking outside the court after the hearing, Lord Ahmed's solicitor Steve Smith said his client was not to blame for Mr Gombar's death.

"Whilst it is not his responsibility, it is not his fault, he still bears the death of this man at the forefront of his mind."

Lord Ahmed was appointed to the House of Lords in 1998 and has lived in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, since childhood.

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