London

Man jailed for New Year's Day hit-and-run deaths

Carrie Maclaren
Image caption Carrie Maclaren was one of the two women who were killed by the car last year

A man who killed two women in a hit-and-run crash in north London early on New Year's Day in 2010 has been jailed for seven years.

The car driven by Shamail Ali Syed, 25, mounted the kerb on the North Circular Road in Enfield and struck the women.

Carrie Maclaren, 20, from Barnet, north London, died at the scene. Chelsea Cannon, 19, also from Barnet, died after three months in a coma.

Syed of Goodmayes Lane, Ilford, was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court.

He was convicted of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, two counts of causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) by dangerous driving, and one count of causing bodily harm by wanton and furious driving.

The crash was described by police who attended as one of the worst accidents they had seen.

Three friends of the dead women suffered serious injuries and had to be taken to hospital.

'Truly horrendous'

Syed had been driving his white Honda alongside another man, Mohammed Afzal, who was in a red Mitsubishi Evo, the court heard.

Afzal, 28, of Bradwell Close, South Woodford, received a two-year prison sentence after he was convicted of two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

But he was acquitted of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, two counts of causing GBH by dangerous driving and one count of causing bodily harm by wanton and furious driving.

Afzal had stopped his vehicle and collected Syed before fleeing the scene, after the crash, which took place close to the junction with Green Lane, Palmer's Green, at around 04:30 GMT.

"This is without doubt one of the worst incidents we have ever dealt with," said Det Ch Insp Nick Chalmers of the Metropolitan Police.

"The injuries suffered by all five were truly horrendous and the three survivors will be haunted by the images from that night for the rest of their lives."

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