A young woman from Halifax broke down in tears as a judge allowed her to walk from court after she lied over a fatal crash which claimed the life of a 12-year-old schoolboy.
Sara Hughes, 21, was said to have been “completely under the spell” of boyfriend Zain Khan when his Seat car struck Bradford Academy pupil Bilal Khizar as he used a crossing on Rooley Lane in the city last October.
Last month, Halifax man Khan was jailed for seven-and-a-half years after he admitted causing the youngster’s death by dangerous driving.
Khan, 21, also admitted perverting the course of justice which related to lies which he and Hughes told the police after the tragic collision.
Former Halifax woman Hughes, also 21, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice last October, but her case could not be dealt at that time.
Hughes returned to Bradford Crown Court today and the judge was told about the transformation in her life.
Barrister Andrew Dallas, for Hughes, said she was now being supported by her mother and was determined to sort her life out.
He said his client was very positive about her future and he urged the judge to suspend any prison term for the offence.
Hughes and Khan had claimed that the Seat car was stolen prior to the fatal crash, but Mr Dallas pointed out that it had been a short-lived attempt to pervert justice and his client had broken down first and told the truth.
Mr Dallas submitted that Hughes had been completely under Khan’s spell at the time.
Judge Durham Hall said he was sure that Hughes had formed an infatuation with Khan.
The judge said she had been a passenger in Khan’s souped-up car when it was involved in the most catastrophic and tragic case of causing death by dangerous driving that many, including himself, had seen.
Judge Durham Hall said video footage of the collision with the schoolboy would scar everybody’s mind for many years and Hughes herself was undoubtably terrified during the hair-raising escapade.
“But what you did do, which was unforgivable, was to lie with your boyfriend and pretend to the authorities that the car had been stolen,” the judge told a tearful Hughes.
But the judge noted that she had spent four or five months in custody and there had been an impressive change in her attitude and commitment.
He sentenced Hughes to nine months in jail, but suspended the prison term for two years.
Hughes will be supervised by probation for 12 months and for the next six months she must live where directed by them.
“I hope that brings to an end and extremely distressing court case,” added the judge.