Sentencing of three drivers who caused horror crash in St Helens Road, Daubhill
Updated 7:20pm Monday 28th October 2013 in News
This live event has finished
- We bring you live updates from Bolton Crown Court today.
- Mohammed Usman Patel, aged 20, of Leach Street, Great Lever, has been jailed for 3 years and 10 months after admitting perverting the course of justice, two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
- Furqaan Mohmed, aged 21, of Gibbon Street, Daubhill, has been jailed for 2 years 8 months after admitting two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
- Mohammed Vohra, aged 20, of Mancroft Avenue, Daubhill, has been given a six-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, after admitting perverting the course of justice.
Sgt Danny Byrne, from GMP’s serious collision investigation unit, was the officer in charge of the investigation into the crash.
He said it was a miracle nobody was killed.
He said: “The crash scene was the worst I have ever seen in my career. It is a sheer miracle nobody died.
“It sends the message out that you can’t drive in this manner and use the roads as a race track.”
He added: “It was an absolutely appalling manner of driving. You quite simply cannot drive in this manner without there being serious ramifications.”
Sgt Byrne said Mohamed Vohra’s lies by initially claiming to be one of the drivers interfered with the police’s investigation.
He said it hampered the investigation as drug and drink tests were not taken from the rightful driver, Mohammed Patel straight after the crash.
He said police operations had been carried out to target speeding drivers in St Helens Road.
He called for residents to report anybody driving dangerously to their nearest neighbourhood policing team.
Sgt Byrne said: “The victims’ injuries were very serious indeed. The 12-year-old boy and the man were just going about their daily business — and their lives have been shattered as a result of the defendants.”
He added: “While the two injured parties did suffer very serious injury they are making good recoveries and I hope that today’s sentences will aid their continuing rehabilitation.”
Mohammed Patel arriving at Bolton Crown Court today
Mohammed Vohra outside court today
Another crash scene pic
The scene of the crash, with police accident investigation markers
The BMW that was hit by the two racing cars as it turned into St Helens Road
One of the Astras involved in the crash
One of the Astras involved in the crash
Here's the CCTV footage:
Hoping to bring you pictures of the defendants soon, as well as the CCTV video footage.
TV cameras outside court
Stay tuned for more pics and videos soon.
Defendants' families have declined to speak to the press
Mohmed will go straight to jail, not young offenders, because he is now 21. Patel, who is 20, will start in YOI, then go to jail when he is 21.
No reaction from any of the defendants or public, but all 3 looked ashamed and contrite and hung their heads
Judge has risen.
All 3 have gone from the dock
Must also do 100 hours unpaid work
He gets a suspended sentence of six months, suspended for 18 months
Judge accepts vohra was misguidedly trying to help friend and there was nothing in it for him
Banned for 4 years. £120
Mohmed is jailed for 2 years 8 months
Banned from driving for 4 years and ordered to pay £120
Half on licence
Patel is jailed for 3 years and 10 months in a young offenders institution
Judge says vohra lied out of naivety, and recanted quickly, and didn't cause any severe inconvenience for police.
All young, all early guilty pleas
Judge says its fair to observe that it wasn't planned and that they feel genuine remorse. Each has shown a positive side to your character, a character which will now take time and effort to rebuild.
Multiple victims and excessive damage are aggravating factors
Max sentence is 5 years, judge reminds them
In the absence of guidelines for new law, judge is considering death by dangerous driving guidelines
Now going over Patel's previous driving offences
Now going over Patel's previous driving offences
Victim impact statements outline substantial impact on several people
Injured boy suffered a serious brain injury and almost had to have his leg amputated. "Very serious injuries indeed" long term and life changing.
Now addressing vohra about his lying
He can't ascribe it to one particular person, so won't factor alleged laughing into sentence
Judge has to look at whether some of you were laughing
Hit Mr Sameel in his BMW
Driving side by side and far in excess of speed limit. You went through a red light. You went flying past a bus, still side by side, way above the speed limit. Pedestrians were around in a built up area. A lady had to drive onto the pavement to avoid a head on collision. Undertook on a bus lane. Still racing.
Each of you drove as if you were invincible
It's only good fortune that prevented it from being worse, he says
He addresses Patel and Mohmed. Says CCTV is truly horrifying
Judge is back in court
Barristers are chatting amongst themselves. Press deciding how they will handle the story.
That was the prosecutor, of course, not the rose cutter.
Judge has now gone out to consider
Rose cuter estimates about 2 miles
He wants to know distance.
Judge is now going to adjourn for 15 to 20 mins.
Most important part of his mitigation is remorse. He can't turn the clock back, but says he is truly, dreadfully sorry.
He is immature for his age, barrister says
He has a clean driving record that is completely at odds with his disgraceful behaviour on that day. He worked for the police and has had to resign. He hoped to be a police officer. That will never happen now. Has flashbacks whenever he is in a car. Will never forget events of that night.
Says it is a chilling and statutory lesson for young drivers and parents. His head is hung in shame he says, not because of what will happen to him. He knows he is going to prison, but because of the reflection on his character.
Is father is an elder in the community and is highly respected. He has brought shame on his family.
But he is utterly contrite. He wishes he could stop what had happened. He fears walking through the area he grew up in. He doesn't feel sorry for himself. Thanks Allah. Hopes victims feel better.
They want to see them punished, he says
Barrister admits it must be difficult for victims family to hear mitigation
Mohmed's defence now
Barrister asks that his personal circumstances should be taken into account and asks that he not be jailed immediately today.
Behaviour was totally out of character
He is just 20. No previous, except an unrelated caution. Mum and sister are supporting him in court today. He works as a delivery driver.
Police did not waste too much time because of the lie because it was short lived
Made a full confession in his second interview
He admitted in his statement that he had lied
Says Patel pressured him into lying. Said he made the split second decision while in shock after crash, and that it was naive and foolish
Vohra and Patel have been friends for 15 years
Vohra's defence now.
Should get 1/3 discount from sentence because of guilty plea, barrister says
He will continue reflection and rehabilitation after sentence. He has learned a valuable lesson.
He comes from a thoroughly devout and decent family. His parents have given him strong values. He is ashamed that his parents have to see him in court. He's always worked hard. Runs a newsagent with his dad. Long hours. Learned that hard work and responsibility that makes him a man, not "being a menace on the streets"
In mitigation, character witnesses speak of Patel in "glowing" terms. He is sociable and socially aware. A good son and brother. Engaged in a lot of youth and charitable activities. He is in many ways " a fine young man" and the way he acted that day was an aberation
He is thoroughly ashamed of lying. Says it was done out of panic and immaturity
No one was laughing at the scene of the crash, he says
He lied to the police, an unpleasant feature of the case, but it was short lived and quickly admitted truth
He will be uninsurable after this. All his own fault
Accepts it was exceptionally foolish
He was advised not to write directly to the victims but has written to the court. Not glib, barrister says. He is exceptionally contrite
He thoroughly regrets what happened and grief he has caused. Accepts it is only by good luck that no one was killed
He says they didn't meet to plan a race. They came across each other in cars and through "utter foolishness" egged each other on
Barrister says he knows he's going to prison
Patel's defence first
JUdge says he's read everything
Prosecutor has finished
Patel banned and uninsured, which is an aggravating factor, she says
Serious injury also a factor
Racing or competitive driving can be a factor, she says
But can take into account death by dangerous driving guidelines to determine seriousness
Prosecutor says there are no sentencing guidelines
One angle from street shows cars side by side
Everyone is watching intently
From bus. Shows cars overtaking bus at high speed
CCTV now being shown
Four cars were damaged. Two Astras the BMW and the parked car
BMW driver had a cut on his head and some aches and pains. His passenger also only minor injuries. They were kept in hospital for a few days though.
This is a fairly new law
Max penalty for causing serious injury by dangerous driving is 5 years in jail
Otherwise others have no previous
Vohra has a caution for "a similar offence"
Banned for 12 months on May 7
Patel was disqualified on totting up of points. He used phone while driving on one occasion. Got 6 points for driving without insurance. 3 for contravening a pedestrian crossing. 3 for using a phone.
Going to take him a long time to get back to normality. It's hit him hard
Says his life has been turned upside down
He can't pray properly, can't go to mosque as often. He is now reliant on his family, instead of him supporting them
Wife is now his carer. He feels useless. Can't sleep.
Was in hospital for ages. Can't get out of bed or go to toilet on his own. Used to be fit and active, but not any more
Mr Mogradia, a market trader, has been unable to continue family business
Boy also has plate in his broken arm and a punctured lung
The incident has affected the whole community, they say
Family was unable to celebrate Ramadan because of what happened, which is very important to them
His family are now reliant on other family members. He can't go back to school yet. He can walk with crutches.
Boy had been at evening prayers at local mosque. His mum was very upset. He needed a blood transfusion because he lost so much blood.
He has now been discharged. Home has had to be modified to accommodate the medical equipment he needs for ongoing treatment.
That's a brain haemorrhage. Had to have surgery to avoid having his leg amputated. Was kept in an induced coma for several weeks.
Boy, 12, called Raheem Hussain. Taken to Manchester children's hospital. He had haemorrhage in his head. Fractured legs. Severed artery. Six surgeons operated on him
Mohmed also made a statement. Said he was very upset. Never been arrested before. And was concerned about his family, his employment, and most importantly any injury caused. He also accepts he was driving a Vauxhall Astra. Also deeply regrets. "I hope and pray that anyone injured fully recovers"
Patel made a prepared statement saying he accepted he was driving the Vauxhall Astra. Accepted he was involved in accident and said he "deeply regretted" what had happened, but had nothing further to say
Vohra at first said there had been a misunderstanding, but later admitted that he and Patel had agreed to say he was driving because Patel was disqualified
They were all taken to police station
It was negative
Police tested him for alcohol and seized his clothes
Vohra came to police and said he was driving
He said they were all laughing and did not appear to be taking it seriously
BMW driver heard someone say "we would not race again"
Car landed on its side
He was flung under a parked car
Patel continued and hit bus shelter, but also hit another pedestrian, mr mogradia
His and Mohmed's vehicle spun in the road. Mohmed's vehicle hit pedestrian barriers. Patel's car hit a parked car, then mounted pavement and hit 12 yr old boy
Another witness was hit by the two vehicles in his car as he turned into the road
Both were side by side on opposing carriageway
Another witness saw two vehicles still side by side, undertook her in a bus lane. Said they were going very fast and were clearly racing
They saw smoke
Witness followed and tried to get reg no
Went into Hulton Lane. Another witness heard screeching tires. Cars side by side, and one was going straight towards witness. She had to reverse onto pavement to get out the way. She thought she was "dead"
Very high speed, through a pedestrian crossing, he said
Mr Holmes was driving. He said 2 cars went flying past the bus. Appeared so quickly that he couldn't see where they came from. Side by side on the opposing carriageway, doing more than 80mph, he estimates
A bus driver saw them
Then they turned left into Wigan road
They overtook the witness and went straight through a red light
A couple saw two vehicles travelling at about 70mph side by side. It's a 50 limit
They were first seen on Beaumont road
11.30 on Sunday July 22, Patel and Mohmed were driving two cars with other youths inside, she says
She will play CCTV after outlining circs
Four people injured, two seriously says prosecutor
Prosecutor is now summarising the history of previous hearings for the judge
Patel and vohra are facing perverting the course of justice charges because they at first said vohra was driving, she says, when it was in fact patel
Prosecutor is speaking. Patel and Mohmed face similar charges of driving dangerously
The defendants are taking their seats
The judge is now in
Police and prosecuting barrister are discussing something
The usher is reminding everyone in the public gallery to turn their mobile phones off
Everyone is now back in court ready for the case to restart. Everyone except the judge, that is.
Everyone is now leaving court to reconvene after lunch
It's been rejected. All three will be in custody over lunch.
Defence barrister has asked if one of the defendants can have lunch with his family
The case is now being adjourned until after lunch. It will resume at 2.15pm
She's mentioning statements from the victims, which the judge wants to read
Prosecuting barrister is now talking about evidence
The judge has lifted the order
We can now print the defendants' addresses
"Can't see the point of publishing their home addresses", one defence barrister is arguing
The defence barristers are also getting involved
The prosecuting barrister is answering questions from the judge about restrictions on publishing the defendants' addresses
All three are carrying bags, as they are expecting jail
Defendants look subdued. They had their heads bowed at first, but are now listening to the judge during some legal discussions
All three defendants are wearing shirt and ties, although Patel is also wearing a cardigan
The judge is now considering our application to lift reporting restrictions
All three are smartly dressed
They're now in the dock
The three defendants are now being called to court
There is some new footage that you'll be able to see on our website later today, if all goes to plan with the hearing
The video for the St Helens Road case is being prepared
Another case is now going to be briefly mentioned
He's got four years and eight months. Half in custody, half on licence.
For no apparent reason.
He bit a part of another man's ear off.
The fight man is now being sentenced
Timing is not looking good for the St Helens Road case finishing this morning. Still likely to start this morning, but it looks like it won't finish until this afternoon.
There's roughly a 50/50 split between men and women in the public gallery. We understand they are family members of the defendants.
This next case seems to concern a drunken fight outside a bar.
And now there's another case being heard. Groans from the press in court.
He's got two years and eight months.
Judge is now sentencing the drug dealer.
Members of the public in the gallery are sitting quietly and listening attentively to this unrelated case.
Drug dealer's defence barrister is speaking now.
Hopefully this won't take too long, and the St Helens Road crash case should be starting soon.
The judge is now considering what to do with this man who has admitted being a drug dealer. Deep in discussion about sentencing guidelines with the prosecuting barrister.
The prosecuting barrister is opening another case about drug dealing.
The court's resident police officer is also in the courtroom.
Judge Clayson has now come into court. There's another case being heard at the moment. The defendant is appearing via video link from a Forest Bank prison.
I've just notified the court clerk that I'll be live blogging during the case. She's going to mention it to the judge.
Also in court at the moment are four barristers and four solicitors. I would assume one prosecuting and one for each defendant.
Rock FM and Tower FM also here
BBC, ITV, Granada and key 103 are here, as well as The Bolton News.
Seven members of the press here, including me
About 20 people in the public gallery, mostly family
We're now in court, but still other matters to deal with first.
We've just handed a letter to the judge asking him to lift some reporting restrictions. He's still dealing with other matters at the moment.
The victims' family are elsewhere in the building, I'm told.
Still busy in the foyer. The defendants are here, supported by their family.
Press have now been cleared out of the ante room while the judge hears another case in chambers. We're told it won't take long.
Here are some pics from the crash, to remind everyone what we're talking about here:
Barristers are going in and out of court, but there's another case to be heard first. Estimate at the moment is 20 minutes. I'm not holding my breath.
The defendants have been told at an earlier hearing to expect jail sentences
The judge is still dealing with other cases
Some hurried fact-checking going on outside court, particularly by some of the regional media, who are new to the case.
Press are gathering in the small room between the foyer and court with a police press officer, waiting for an opportunity to go in.
Judge Timothy Clayson, the honorary recorder of Bolton, will be presiding. He's dealing with a few other matters before the case is due to start.
Busy in Bolton crown court this morning. Lots of press and other unknown people in the waiting room outside court 1.
The court case is scheduled to start at 10.30am