Two men jailed for using Tameside road as a ‘race track’ and killing eight-year-old boy as he crossed street

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Two men have been put behind bars for causing death by dangerous driving after a BMW hit an eight-year-old boy who died of his injuries.

Two men have been jailed for causing the death by dangerous driving of an eight-year-old boy in Greater Manchester.

Kevin Jones and Thomas McGrath have been put behind bars after Saffiullah Latif Asif was struck by a BMW in Tameside in July 2020. He suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital but died. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said witnesses saw two cars using Ryecroft Street in Ashton under Lyne as a “race track” just before Saffiullah was hit and that Jones and McGrath, who are from the Wirral and Stockport respectively, were both doing more than double the speed limit.

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Saffiullah’s family said they were pleased justice had been done for their young son.

What happened to Saffiullah Latif Asif?

Bolton Crown Court heard that shortly after 8.15pm on Thursday 23 July 2020 police were called to Ryecroft Street in Ashton under Lyne and found that eight-year-old Saffiullah, who had been playing with his brother and cousin at the time, had been struck by a BMW while crossing the road.

The youngster sadly died from his injuries in hospital.

Witnesses described seeing two cars travelling very fast down Ryecroft Street just before the collision, with one thinking they were treating the road as a “race track”. Another had shouted for the vehicles to “slow down” as they flew around the bend, after he felt they were travelling too fast and too close to each other. The same witness reported a loud bang before he saw a small child lying “motionless in the road.”

The drivers of the two cars were identified as 36-year-old Kevin Jones, of Gorseyville Crescent on the Wirral, and Thomas McGrath, 24, of Gorton Road in Stockport. Jones had been driving the BMW which struck Saffiullah and he stopped after the accident, but McGrath failed to stop.

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Officers at the scene discovered Jones was driving without insurance on an expired provisional driving licence. McGrath was later traced by police in connection with the fatality.

Kevin Jones and Thomas McGrathKevin Jones and Thomas McGrath
Kevin Jones and Thomas McGrath | GMP

A forensic report which reconstructed the collision revealed that Jones had been travelling at approximately 50mph in a 20mph zone, while McGrath had been doing speeds between 42 and 48mph.

Jones admitted his guilt at the scene and pleaded guilty in court on 27 May 2021. McGrath initially denied the offences but was found guilty at trial on 19 January this year.

On Thursday (23 February) at Bolton Crown Court Jones and McGrath both received four years and eight months in prison and were told they would both be banned from driving for a further five years on their release from jail. Both had been found guilty of the same offence of causing death by dangerous driving.

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What was said following the verdicts in court?

PC Adam Scott of the specialist operations roads policing serious collision investigation unit at GMP said: “First of all, our thoughts remain with the family of Saffiullah Latif Asif, who grieve and miss their son every single day.

“We are pleased with today’s result, and we hope that this goes some way to help Saffiullah’s family, knowing that both Jones and McGrath are off the streets and cannot hurt anyone else.

“This was an extremely serious road traffic collision, and we would urge everyone to adhere to speed limits and behave in a responsible way on the roads. As this case has shown, standards of driving like this result in the loss of lives and in this case, a young boy’s life.

“These standards will not be tolerated by Greater Manchester Police and we will vigorously target these offenders.”

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Speaking after the verdict Saffiullah’s father said: “Myself, my wife and our whole family are very grateful to the police and the Prosecution Service, who have worked hard to get this case to court, and for all the support we have received from our Family Liaison Officer.

“I want to thank the witnesses who came forward and the community for being a great support. I am content with the sentencing today. We have lost Saffiullah and he will never come back but I am pleased that we have finally got some justice.”