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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Man pleads guilty over death of student abigail

Jaswinder Lakhvinder Singh, the 45-year-old man arrested and charged over the hit-and-run case in which medical student Abigail Craen was killed, this week pleaded guilty to four different charges, including death by dangerous driving, in Birmingham Crown Court.

Singh, of Ward End, who handed himself in on Monday 7th November 2005, initially pleaded not guilty, but during an 8-minute appearance in court on Monday of this week admitted to charges of death by dangerous driving, driving without a license, failure to stop after an accident and failure to report an accident. Speaking through a Punjabi interpreter, he appeared "tearful". The maximum sentence he faces is 14 years.

Singh has lived in Britain since the 1980s and holds a British passport. It was also revealed this week that in April 2004 he was issued with a 12-month driving ban following a conviction of drink-driving. He hit Abigail only six months after this restriction was lifted.

Abigail, a 20-year-old student from Birmingham University, was hit whilst crossing Pershore Road on a pedestrian crossing just outside Hunter Court, her halls of residence, on 30th October 2005 at around 5:00pm. The dark-coloured Mondeo, travelling from the direction of the city centre, failed to stop at a red light and hit her, leaving her around 30 feet up the road. She died soon afterwards after being stabilised in hospital, having sustained severe brain damage.

The case attracted a high level of media attention as Abigail's mother, Susan Craen, chose to release a picture of her daughter lying dead in hospital in an attempt to find her killer. This led to the coverage of the story by the BBC, Channel 4 news, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Telegraph. A campaign was also launched by the Birmingham Mail offering £5,000 to the witness who could provide the vital piece of evidence needed.

The prosecutor, Miss Angela Hallan, told the court how Singh was driving at around 41mph in a 30mph stretch of road and "did not brake" before hitting Abigail as she started to cross the road. Miss Hallan commented that there was "no evidence of any braking or skidding on the road". Singh told the police he then "panicked as he was uninsured", and hid the vehicle, which had sustained damage to the windscreen and bonnet, the following day in a garage in Highgate.

Judge Trevor Faber remanded Singh in custody after telling him a custodial sentence was inevitable. Medical and probation reports are currently being processed in preparation for him to be sentenced on March 6. There was no application for bail.

1 Comments:

  • Absolutely disgusting. Eighteen, I mean FOUR, months is a very sick joke.

    By Blogger Raw Carrot, at 8:16 pm  

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