Two boy racers who killed a nine-year-old girl who was on her way to Mosque with her mother have been jailed.
Mohsen Saddique, 22, and Adil Manir, 19, drove just metres apart as they raced each other in their high performance cars through Rawtenstall, Lancashire on September 15, 2015.
Manir lost control of his Audi A5 as he tried to overtake a third vehicle and ploughed into the nine-year-old Aleena Kausar who was walking along the pavement with her mother.
Aleena suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead shortly after arriving in hospital.
Saddique was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving earlier this week at Burnley Crown Court. while Manir admitted the same charge.
Both men were jailed for four years each at Burnley Crown Court. Manir was also given a seven year driving ban with Saddique being disqualified for five years.
Passing sentence, Judge Jonathan Gibson said: ‘Nothing that I can say or do can adequately reflect the pain of Aleena’s family.’
The court saw CCTV of Manir and Saddique accelerating at ‘considerable speed’ along the road before the crash.
Saddique, a private hire taxi driver, denied the charge and claimed he was slowing down at the time of the crash.
Tom Snape, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: ‘This is a tragic case whereby a nine-year-old girl who was walking along the street with her mother and cousin was hit by an out of control car and sadly lost her life.
‘Mohsen Saddique and Adil Manir both undertook a very dangerous course of action by driving at around twice the speed limit in a busy, built up area.
‘Saddique was tailgating Manir, actively encouraging him to drive faster and more dangerously.
‘Manir overtook a Corsa on a pedestrian crossing, which resulted in the driver of a Zaffira losing control of his car.
‘Manir then immediately swerved, lost control of his Audi and mounted the pavement before ploughing into Aleena and her mother.
‘Both men showed complete disregard for all other road users when they used their cars to race with each other. Even though only one car actually struck Aleena, they are both culpable for her fatal injuries.
‘Today as they begin their sentences, they must now face up to the consequences of their reckless actions.
‘Although no sentence could ever compensate for the terrible loss Aleena’s family and loved ones have suffered, I hope that the conclusion of this case will bring them some sense of closure and that justice has been served.’
Det Insp Mark Haworth-Oates said: ‘This was a tragic incident which has had a devastating impact on Aleena’s family and the wider community.
‘The actions of both these men showed a complete disregard for the safety of other road users and, although I’m sure that when they set out on their journey they had no intention of hurting anyone, the irresponsible and dangerous way in which they raced their vehicles, in a built up area at a busy time of day has led to the very sad death of a little girl who was simply walking on the pavement alongside her mother.
‘This case highlights the fatal consequences that dangerous driving can have and shows just how much damage and heartbreak it can cause.
‘No sentence will bring Aleena back.’
In a statement Aleena’s family said: ‘The effect that she had on so many people’s lives made us proud – but it is like a knife through our hearts because it reminds us of what we have lost.’