Bebington driver jailed for causing death of child

Kevin Jones of Higher Bebington and Thomas McGrath of Stockport were each jailed for four years and eight months for causing death by dangerous driving.

The court heard how, shortly after 8.15pm on Thursday 23 July 2020, officers were called to reports that a BMW car being driven on Ryecroft Street in Ashton-under-Lyne collided with a pedestrian. A young boy had been crossing the road when he was struck.

Tragically, Safiullah Latif Asif from Ashton-under-Lyne, who had been playing with his brother and cousin, died in hospital after sustaining life-threatening injuries in the collision.

Witnesses described seeing two cars travelling very fast down Ryecroft Street just before the collision, with one thinking they were treating the road as a “race track”. Another had shouted for the vehicles to “slow down” as they flew around the bend, after he felt they were travelling too fast – and too close to each other.

The same witness reported a loud bang before he saw a small child lying “motionless in the road.”

The driver of the BMW, Bebington man, Jones, stopped after the accident, but McGrath failed to stop. Officers on the scene discovered that Jones was driving without insurance, on an expired provisional driving licence. He admitted to the offences at the scene and later pleaded guilty on 27 May 2021.

McGrath was traced but denied the offence. He pleaded not guilty on 13 December 2021 but was later found guilty at the end of a trial on 19 January 2023.

A Forensic Collision Reconstruction Report was carried out, which showed that Jones was travelling at approximately 50mph in a 20mph zone, and McGrath at an average speed of between 42 and 48mph.

PC Adam Scott of the Specialist Operations Roads Policing Serious Collision Investigation Unit said, “First of all, our thoughts remain with the family of Safiullah Latif Asif, who grieve and miss their son every single day.

“We are pleased with today’s result, and we hope that this goes some way to help Safiullah’s family, knowing that both Jones and McGrath are off the streets and cannot hurt anyone else.

“This was an extremely serious road traffic collision, and we would urge everyone to adhere to speed limits and behave in a responsible way on the roads. As this case has shown, standards of driving like this result in the loss of lives and in this case, a young boy’s life.

“These standards will not be tolerated by Greater Manchester Police and we will vigorously target these offenders.”

Speaking after the sentencing, Saffiullah’s father said, “Myself, my wife and our whole family are very grateful to the police and the Prosecution Service, who have worked hard to get this case to court, and for all the support we have received from our Family Liaison Officer.

“I want to thank the witnesses who came forward and the community for being a great support. I am content with the sentencing today. We have lost Saffiullah and he will never come back but I am pleased that we have finally got some justice.

“Please can we ask that our privacy is respected so we can grieve for the loss of our son.”

Image: Kevin Jones and Thomas McGrath/GMP

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