Driver jailed for killing girl, 14

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Published: Tuesday 27th January 2015 by The News Editor

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A driver who killed a 14-year-old girl in a hit-and-run crash has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years amid emotional scenes.

Jasmyn Chan was hit by a car travelling at least twice the speed limit in Sheffield last year after she pushed her younger friend Tia Tucker, 12, out of the way in a “remarkable act of bravery”, saving her life, a judge said.

Naseeb Ellahi, who was driving the Honda car, had snorted cocaine before he set off to drive that night.

The 34-year-old was also driving without insurance or a licence on Normanton Hill when he ran into the two girls, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Ellahi admitted causing death by dangerous driving and other offences.

Many in the packed public gallery were in tears as Jasmyn’s mother, Paula McCullie, read out an impact statement in the court.

Mrs McCullie told the judge her daughter was “the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen” after she was born and grew up to be an art-loving “beautiful, popular young girl” who dreamed of becoming an architect.

Watched by dozens of members of her family, she said Jasmyn was a “beautiful, loving, generous girl with a heart of pure gold.”

Mrs McCullie added: “Some people are just born special. Jasmyn was one of those people.”

Her ex-husband, Paul Chan, who sat a few seats away from her in chairs normally reserved for the jury, was also in tears as she recalled how she knew her daughter was dead when she arrived at the scene of the crash, near her house, on May 9 last year.

Mrs McCullie asked the judge how someone can knock down two children and leave them for dead by the side of the road.

Ellahi sat in the dock with his head in head in his hands weeping through the hour-long hearing, his sobs often audible to those in court.

Tom Storey, prosecuting, said the defendant was a habitual cannabis user who had been banned from driving many years ago and since getting his new car had never bothered having a lesson and failed his theory test three times.

He set out to drive on that Friday night to see his daughter after snorting two lines of cocaine.

Mr Storey said investigators showed the car had been travelling at more than 61mph on the 30mph single carriageway road when he began to brake, got into a skid and lost control.

The judge – Recorder of Sheffield Judge Julian Goose QC – said he thought Ellahi would have been travelling substantially faster than this.

Jasmyn and Tia were with three other friends, who cannot be named, who were crossing the road in two groups.

Mr Storey said it was likely that Ellahi braked when he saw the three other teenagers in the road, swerved to miss this group and ended up hitting the other two girls.

He confirmed Jasmyn tried to push her friend Tia out of the way of the vehicle before they were hit.

Tia suffered a fractured ankle and cuts to her legs.

The prosecutor said Ellahi stopped briefly, then drove off at speed, leaving the injured girls on the grass verge where they had landed.

He handed himself in to police five days later and his car has never been recovered, the judge was told.

Ellahi, of Ash Road, Birmingham, admitted causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, causing death by driving without a licence, causing death by driving without insurance, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident.

Published: Tuesday 27th January 2015 by The News Editor

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