A DRIVER has been jailed for killing his best friend after “showing off” behind the wheel.
Reece Hussain, aged 22, of Ainsdale Road, Great Lever, took a cocktail of “two swigs” of alcohol, cocaine and cannabis before the fatal crash in Coal Pit Road, Smithills, on February 17 last year.
Hussain’s friends Khadar Nur and Kelly Pickard, who were both passengers in the car along with another woman, pleaded with Hussain to slow down before the car hit a wall at about 2.30am.
Bolton Crown Court heard yesterday how Hussain’s Vauxhall Astra rolled over. Mr Nur, aged 25, from Daubhill, suffered serious injuries and died hours later.
Hussain was said by a witness to have been driving between about 50 and 55mph.
Ms Pickard suffered serious facial injuries including a broken jaw.
Mark Kellet, prosecuting, said Hussain had taken a swig of alcohol but there was no evidence about how much he had drunk.
A blood test revealed cocaine and cannabis in his system.
There was also no evidence to suggest taking alcohol and drugs impacted his driving, the court heard.
David Temkin, defending, read a comment made by Hussain in his interview.
He said: “The biggest punishment is my best friend passing away. I wish it was me and not him. I will never forget what happened, day in and day out .”
Hussain was said to be well thought of and worked for his father’s car washing company.
Mr Nur’s family, in a victim impact statement, said his father feels a sense of responsibility, being the head of the family, that he was unable to protect him.
Mr Nur’s brothers’ grades at school have suffered since his death.
Judge Timothy Stead, sentencing, said: “I don’t sentence him on the basis that his driving was impaired but I sentence him on the basis that by taking all those substances he was taking the risk that his driving would be impaired.”
He added: “There must have been an element of showing off which aggravated the features of the case.”
Hussain admitted causing death by careless driving. He was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment and was banned from driving for three years.
He hung his head throughout the case and smiled and waved to his family as he was jailed.