A driver who ran over and killed a two-year-old toddler, Fahima Hassan, in an Asda car park while she was to busy talking to a friend on her phone about a job interview has been sparred jail.
The toddler was holding her mother’s hand as they left the store in Wembley, north London, at around 8.20pm when Hoden Aden, 44, ran her over close to a zebra crossing.
Aden, who is a mother-of-seven herself, claimed that her view was obstructed by a box of tissues on the dashboard and that she believed she had hit a trolley.
She continued driving over the girl for some time not realising that the girl was under the car.
The toddlers mother had said in a victim statement read out in court that she heard her ‘daughter’s bones crunching.’
Aden denied causing death by careless driving but was found guilty after a four-day trial.
But today, she escaped being sent to prison after the court heard that she had ill-health and has to care for her sick mother.
The court instead decided to sentence her to 14 months in jail, suspended for two years and she must complete 120 hours of unpaid work.
Fahima’s mother, Narmin Nur, 31, ran out of the court room in shock that the woman had avoided being sent to jail.
Szilvia Booker, prosecuting, said: ‘On the day in question the standard of the defendant’s driving fell well short of the standard expected of a careful and competent driver.
‘She was not looking at the road in front of her and there was a box of tissues partially obscuring her view from the windscreen.
‘She was distracted by looking for a car park space and by a telephone conversation which she was engaging in on a hands free phone.
‘This was a particularly tragic place for this to happen as it was an area many vulnerable road users and pedestrians come to do their shopping.’
‘Because she was going at such a slow speed there was plenty of time to see the pedestrians, but she simply wasn’t looking, she was unaware she impacted with the child and was confronted with a hostile crowd at the scene.’
The car continued to drive over her for a period of time because she did not see what she had collided with.
Speaking outside the court, the toddlers mother, Ms Nur said: ‘We are not happy with the sentence. How can this be justice? We are so sad.
‘How can someone kill a child and still walk free? I can’t believe it. I know no sentence can bring Yaya back, but we thought she might get some prison time.
‘As she drove over her I heard my daughter’s bones crunching. I know she didn’t set out to kill my kid, but she’s never said anything to me.’