Family of man, 66, runover by Qatari sheikh tell of their devastation

Family of pensioner, 66, who are suing Qatari sheikh for £200,000 after he was run over and killed by millionaire’s Rolls-Royce Wraith tell of their ‘devastating’ loss and say his death has left ‘huge hole in our lives’

  • Sheikh Hassan Nasser Al-Thani hit Charles Roberts, 66, as he crossed the road 
  • The sheikh had been driving at more than 52mph in Mayfair on August 22, 2019
  • Al-Thani was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years

The family of a pensioner runover and killed by a speeding Qatari sheikh driving a luxury Rolls-Royce have today told of their devastation.

Sheikh Hassan Nasser Al-Thani hit Charles Roberts, 66, with his purple Rolls-Royce Wraith while driving at more than 52mph in Mayfair on August 22, 2019.

The charity worker from Harpenden, Hertfordshire, died at the scene and the sheikh was later handed an eight-month prison sentence – suspended for two years

Mr Roberts’ family are now suing the Qatari in the High Court for £200,000 and have today spoken out for the first time since the beloved pensioner was killed. 

Terry Conybeare, 79, Charles’ cousin, said: ‘The last few years and coming to terms with Charles’ death and particularly how it was so avoidable, have been incredibly difficult for all of his family.

Charity worker Charles Roberts, 66, was runover and killed by Qatari sheikh Hassan Nasser Al-Thani as he walked near Hyde Park in London 

Al-Thani hit Mr Roberts (pictured) with his purple Rolls-Royce Wraith while driving at more than 52mph in Mayfair on August 22, 2019

‘Charles’ death has left a huge void in the lives of his loved ones and is a stark reminder of the consequences vulnerable road users such as pedestrians can face because of the careless actions of others.

READ MORE: Qatari sheikh, 42, who ran over and killed pedestrian, 66, while speeding in his purple Rolls-Royce Wraith is being sued by victim’s family for £200,000

‘While nothing can make up for their loss, we’re determined to support Terry and the rest of Charles’ family. We urge the sheikh’s insurers to work with us to resolve this case as soon as possible and bring closure to the family.’

Charles, was crossing Duke of Wellington place near Hyde Park when the flash motor smashed into him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Al-Thani was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving at the Old Bailey.

A retired railway signalling manager, Charles was also a keen biker and volunteered for charities as a rider delivering blood to hospitals.

In the lead-up to the crash, Al-Thani had briefly been driving at 52mph to 54mph in a 30mph zone, the Old Bailey was told during the sentencing hearing.

The judge said he was ‘satisfied’ had Al-Thani been driving ‘in or around’ the speed limit Charles’ death would have been avoided.

As well as a suspended sentence, the sheikh received a three-year driving ban and a £25,000 fine.

Sheikh Hassan Nasser Al-Thani hit Charles Roberts, 66, with his purple Rolls-Royce Wraith while driving at more than 52mph in Mayfair on August 22, 2019 

The Old Bailey heard in October 2021 the sheikh was driving in Duke of Wellington Place when he collided with Mr Roberts, a retired Network Rail signaling manager from Harpenden, Hertfordshire, who had been walking near Hyde Park 

The location of the crash involving the Rolls Royce at Hyde Park Corner in central London 

At the time of his death Charles lived with his vulnerable brother, Peter, 68, who was reliant on Charles to help look after him and help plan his financial affairs.

The family are now warning of the dangers of speeding and the need for drivers to take care on the roads.

Mr Conybeare added: ‘Charles really was one of the good guys. He went out of his way to not only help his family, particularly Peter, but also others. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him.

‘He had not long retired but was still healthy and active. Charles was really looking forward to spending his retirement travelling, volunteering with the blood bikes as well as on a heritage railway. However, all that was taken away from him.

‘We’ve all taken Charles’ death really hard but Peter has been left devastated and really struggling to cope.

Charles’ family have since told of their devastation following the tragedy

Charles died at the scene and the sheikh was later handed an eight-month prison sentence – suspended for two years 

‘Charles wasn’t only his older brother, but also his best friend and the one person in whom Peter could confide.

‘While time has moved on we still feel the same sense of hurt and loss over what happened to Charles. It’s difficult not to think he should still be with us today.

‘We’d do anything to have Charles back in our lives but we know that’s not possible.

‘We just hope that by speaking out we can make motorists aware of the dangers of speeding and the need to always drive with care.

‘We wouldn’t wish what we’re going through on anyone.’

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