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Hit-and-run driver is jailed after running over man, 61, on zebra crossing – only to learn it was her own father-in-law

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A hit-and-run driver crashed into and seriously injured an elderly man on a zebra crossing – only to learn later it was her father-in-law she had left lying in agony.

Fatheha Begum Abedin was distracted because she was using her phone when she ploughed into her 61-year-old relative in the Highfields area of Leicester in February 2018.

But instead of stopping to help him, she kept on driving. The shocking incident was captured on CCTV and led to a high-profile police appeal to find the driver responsible.

Abedin began to concoct the first of a series of lies she hoped would cover up what she had done.

The 29-year-old’s far-fetched stories evolved as police gathered more evidence against her, Leicester Crown Court heard.

Initially she insisted she was not aware of the crash, which happened in St Peter’s Road on the evening of Monday, February 5.

Next she said she might have been involved but had suffered a partial loss of consciousness caused by an asthma attack, meaning she had no memory of the incident.

The incident, which was caught on CCTV, threw her father-in-law on to the bonnet of her Vauxhall Corsa and into her windscreen.

The force of the impact bent the wipers and shattered the windscreen.

Hit-and-run driver Fatheha Begum Abedin crashed into and seriously injured an elderly man on a zebra crossing - only to learn later it was her father-in-law left lying in agony on the road

Hit-and-run driver Fatheha Begum Abedin crashed into and seriously injured an elderly man on a zebra crossing – only to learn later it was her father-in-law left lying in agony on the road

She later claimed the damage had been caused by thieves breaking into the car to steal her phone, prosecutor Joey Kwong said.

She also tried to hide her use of the phone at the time of the crash by saying it often delayed sending messages – a contention which was refuted by an expert.

Mr Kwong added that Leicestershire Police later established she had deleted 32 incriminating text messages from her phone and had her windscreen repaired before police had a chance to examine it.

The pharmacy assistant eventually ran out of lies and pleaded guilty to two offences – causing serious injury by dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice.

She appeared in court on Wednesday – supported by family members including her father-in-law – to be sentenced.

Her family was initially unaware of what she had done but eventually learned of her involvement as the police investigation continued.

She was arrested and interviewed 11 days after the crash and was eventually exposed as a liar.

Her relatives withdrew their support for the matter being prosecuted in the courts, the court heard.

Before he sentenced her, Judge Robert Brown gave a chronology of the incident.

He said Adedin left the family home in Evington Street around 6.15pm on Monday, February 5 2018 to collect a takeaway.

At same time, her father-in-law left the shared home to visit a relative, who lived nearby.

As she made her way home she was using her mobile and went across the zebra crossing in St Peter’s Road, Highfields – just at the moment her father-in-law was crossing.

She crashed into into him, causing a number of serious injuries, including a fractured pelvis.

Sentencing her, Judge Brown said: ‘I’m satisfied you were using your mobile phone.

‘You collided with and caused a serious injury to your father-in-law. He went up over your bonnet and struck your windscreen before landing in the road.

‘I’m quite satisfied you knew full well there had been an accident. You could not have reached any other conclusion

‘You did not stop. You did not offer to help. Others passing by stopped to help. You carried on.’

The judge said a man whose car matched the one involved in the collision was arrested and spent an evening in police custody before he was ruled out of the police investigation.

The judge continued: ‘It’s apparent to me that not only did you know you had been involved in a road traffic collision, but went to considerable lengths to cover up your involvement.

‘An innocent man was arrested and detained overnight by the police on the basis that he was thought to be the driver.

‘Your father-in-law was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary and spent a total of 11 days there.

‘He sits in court today and has written a statement in which he expresses – and has always felt, I am sure – his love and affection for you.

‘He stresses your importance to him, his wife and his family in your role as carer.

‘He has clearly in his own way forgiven you for what happened that night.

‘If you are sent into immediate custody I must have regard to the fact that could cause yet more pain to the victim of your crime.

‘I have no desire to cause any further pain to him, but I have a public duty today.

‘You did just about everything in your power to avoid responsibility for your behaviour until you were forced to make the admissions you have.

‘You have pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

‘This was a deliberate and sustained attempt to avoid responsibility for what you had done.

Abedin was jailed for six months for the dangerous driving offence and 12 months for perverting the course of justice.

The sentences will be served consecutively, making a total of 18 months.

She was also banned from driving for two years and nine months.

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About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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