Beds, Herts & Bucks

Girl left paralysed in crash 'living death sentence'

Asman Nawaz and car after crash Image copyright Bedfordshrie Police
Image caption Asman Nawaz was taking his passenger to college in Luton when he crashed the car, leaving her trapped while he ran off

A driver who crashed, leaving his teenage passenger paralysed, has been jailed after she gave police a statement using only her eyes.

Asman Nawaz, 28, flipped his Vauxhall Corsa on 8 August 2017, fleeing the scene and leaving the girl behind.

It was a year until she was strong enough to give a statement, using a machine which translated her eye movements into words.

Nawaz, from Luton, was sentenced to three years and five months.

He was also given a 16-year road ban after he pleaded guilty to causing serious injury through dangerous driving.

'Living death sentence'

Luton Crown Court heard Nawaz, of Bolingbroke Road, left the 17-year-old victim because he was worried police would find crack cocaine and heroin in his car.

She was eventually cut free from the car, but her injuries left her completely paralysed.

In a statement read to court she said: "I can't move and I cannot breathe on my own.

"I will never get a job or have any freedom and I am in pain all the time."

Judge Barbara Mensah said the girl had been given "a living death sentence".

"A worse fate is unimaginable," she added.

The girl's condition will cut short her life and has left her "constantly" thinking about death, the court was told.

An off-duty police officer was on his way to work at about 10:30 BST when he came across the car on its side on Dunstable Road, Caddington.

He saw a barefooted man climbing out of the car, who claimed not to be the driver before he ran off, Bedfordshire Police said.

Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption He was eventually arrested for possession of drugs found in his car after the crash

The officer stayed with the victim, who is now 18.

It was a year before the passenger was strong enough to give police a statement identifying Nawaz, communicating with her eyes using a screen to spell out words which were then read aloud by a computer.

The court was told Nawaz was jailed for six years in 2018 in connection with the drugs found in his car.

He will serve his sentences consecutively.

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