Bus Driver Jumps Bail to Avoid Prison Sentence

Raouf Mraidi, 29, a bus driver from Croydon is wanted for causing death by dangerous driving.

At approximately 0950 hrs on Sunday 7th September 2008, a tram was in collision with a route 468 double decker bus driven by Mraidi. He had run a red light and slammed into a tram travelling along George Street, Croydon. The collision sent the bus careering down George Street, smashing into shop fronts before it finally came to a halt when it crashed into a parked BMW car.

A male passenger on the bus, Andrzej Tadeusz Karcz, 28, a polish national, was killed at the scene of the accident. He was decapitated after being thrown from the front top floor window of the bus. A post mortem gave the cause of death as multiple injuries. Six other passengers received minor injuries and were treated at Mayday Hospital.

Mraidi was arrested and charged but failed to turn up at Croydon Crown Court and has not been seen since. An extensive search had been going on for him during the five day hearing.

On Wednesday 2nd December 2009 he was found guilty in his absence and sentenced to four years imprisonment. The jury took just 25 minutes to find him guilty after reviewing the evidence.

Mraidi is French Tunisian and could well have fled to France. He had his French passport taken away from him ahead of his trial, but as an EU national would have been able to travel freely between european countries if he held an identity card. His friend, Othma Bouain was summonsed to pay a surety of £2,000 that he had put up as a condition of Mraidi's bail. He was given three months to pay the money.

An arrest warrant has been issued. Mraidi also faces a charge of jumping bail.