• Monday, January 30, 2023

HEADLINE STORY

First car misses boy, 8, by ‘chance’ before he was struck by BMW pursuing it, court hears

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

A speeding car missed “by chance” an eight-year-old boy playing an Ashton-under-Lyne street before he was fatally struck by a BMW, a trial heard.

Safiullah Latif Asif died days after the catastrophic crash which took place on Ryecroft Street on July 23, 2020. Two men were arrested following the incident.

Kevin Jones, 36, of Beswick, who was driving the BMW which hit the boy reportedly pleaded guilty to death by dangerous driving at a previous hearing.

However, his friend and co-defendant Thomas McGrath who was driving the other car denied causing the tragedy.

According to an Echo report, Bolton Crown Court heard that McGrath was driving at ‘a high speed’ estimated to be around 45 mph. He ‘encouraged and allowed Jones’ to drive dangerously in the residential area where the speed limit was 20 mph.

Prosecutor Neil Fryman said, “It is the defendant’s colleague Mr Jones’ car that hits the little boy at a very high speed in a residential area where there was a 20 mph limit.”

“It was the crown’s position that… the defendant in the front car by chance misses the boy and the next car along hits [him]. The way in which [McGrath] drove influenced the car behind to drive in a similar way. Mr Jones in the car behind is chasing the defendant,” the prosecutor said showing CCTV footage of the incident.

During a police interview, McGrath said he was not racing with Jones “in any way shape or form”. He also denied having known how far behind his friend was when he was driving.

Safiullah, described by his family and friends as “sweet” and “cute”, was playing tig when the incident took place. The collision hurled him into the air. He was taken to a Greater Manchester hospital where succumbed to his injuries two days later.

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