Beds, Herts & Bucks

Driver who knocked over girl in Luton jailed

A driver who knocked down a 14-year-old girl in Luton and fled the scene has been jailed for six weeks for careless driving.

Raza Rehmat, 25, of Holland Road, Luton, was speeding in Leagrave Road when he hit the girl who had stepped into the road from behind a minibus.

The girl suffered life-altering head injuries and needs full-time care.

Rehmet was found guilty of careless driving in March, but cleared of dangerous driving.

The court heard the girl had just got off a minibus bringing her home from her private school in Portland Road on 26 April last year.

'Failing to stop'

Rehmat's black VW Golf hit her and threw her into the air.

In a statement read to the court, she said she remembered nothing about the accident and her first memory was waking up in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.

Rehmat denied careless driving but admitted leaving the scene of an accident.

Shop manager Rehmat was told by Judge John Bevan QC: "Failing to stop knowing you had seriously injured a child was shameful, as you now accept, and you spent the next three hours thinking of concealing the damaged car.

"I accept you were not a boy racer but you were driving a high performance car in a built up area at 1600 BST when you knew school children were about."

Rehmat was disqualified from driving for 12 months and the £9,000 car which belonged to his brother has been seized.

Tim Forte, representing Rehmat, said on Tuesday his client was not a "boy racer in a souped-up car with no care for anyone".

"He is a responsible young man who had a blip that day and drove carelessly and then acted reprehensibly afterwards. He has never even had a speeding ticket in the past," he said.

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