A speeding motorist who killed an 11-year-old boy as he left a mosque with his father in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester has been jailed for seven years.
[tie_slide] 11-year-old Shahzaib Hussain died after being hit by a speeding vehicle | [/tie_slide]
[tie_slide] Killer Henry Barker | [/tie_slide]
Henry Barker, 20, hit Shahzaib Hussain whilst driving recklessly at speeds of more than 45mph on a 20mph road only weeks after being warned by police for speeding.
The schoolboy had been attending Hamza Mosque for afternoon prayers with his father, Javid Hussain, and his uncle when Barker struck him and fled the scene. He handed himself in to police the following day.
The impact of the crash caused Shahzaib Hussain to be thrown into the air causing serious injuries and was rushed to hospital but died a short while later.
The court heard how Barker was forced to swerve his vehicle to avoid hitting parked cars moments before the accident.
A witness described Barkers driving as ‘some of the worst’ she had ever seen on the roads while another witness said his car “shook” when the Mercedes roared past him and estimated the speed at around 60mph.
It also emerged in court that the Mercedes A-class that Barker had been driving had been hired for him by his friend and he was not insured to drive the vehicle.
Barker claimed the boy had “run out of nowhere” and that he panicked after the collision which was the reason he did not stop.
During the trial Shahzaib’s father got so upset at Barker’s account of the tragedy he lunged at him as the killer finished giving evidence and shouted: “liar.”
He was found guilty at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court for causing death by dangerous driving after denying the charge and was sentenced to seven years and banned from driving for eight years.
His passenger, Aaron Ward, 23, of Hattersley Road West, Hattersley, was jailed for 14 months after he pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to aiding and abetting Barker.
Judge Mark Savill said: “We should pause to remember that an 11-year-old boy lost his life as a result of these offences.
“Nothing I say or any sentence I pass will every make amends for this or release his family and friends from the appalling constraints of grief and loss that your behaviour has consigned to for no doubt the rest of their lives.
“Shahzaib’s father talks of the close and special relationship with his son and the part he played in his life. He speaks of the feeling of detachment from every day life since his son died.”
In a statement Barker – whose girlfriend is heavily pregnant – said: “I feel terrible about what happened. I can’t even begin to think about how the boy’s family must feel. A kid ran out from my left hand side. There was nothing I could do to avoid a collision.”