Two 21-year-old women have received community warrants after lying to police about who was driving a car that collided with an e-scooter driver.
Pel Ahmed and Crystal Liu, both aged 21 and both from Burns Street, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Friday October 21.
The court heard that at 7.45pm on 22 September 2021 a man was traveling along Robert Street towards Bailiff Street on an electric scooter. He did not stop to dodge at the intersection, and as a result, a car traveling down Bailiff Street collided with the driver.
Paul Edwards, prosecutor, said Ahmed was the driver of the car but had no insurance and only a provisional license.
The court heard that Liu – who owned the car – was the passenger in the car and she immediately called 999. Both defendants got out of the car and took care of the seriously injured victim.
Liu told police officers she was the driver of the car, when police arrived at the scene, the court heard – Ahmed said nothing at the time. Dashcam and CCTV footage later confirmed Lui exiting the passenger side of the car. About a month later, Liu admitted to police that she was the passenger in the car, the court heard.
Ahmed pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle other than in accordance with a driver’s license and operating a motor vehicle without liability insurance. Liu pleaded guilty to assisting or abetting both offenses.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to an act intended to pervert the course of public justice.
Thomas Parker, who is defending Liu, said she feels a “deep sense of shame” and that the lies that followed the “shocking and disturbing” collision stemmed from her state of panic and “misguided loyalty” to her friend.
The defense attorney said this is unlike Liu and a tarnish to her otherwise “impeccable” reputation as someone who recently graduated from university, works three jobs and volunteers to provide sanctuary to refugees.
Colin Charvill, defending Ahmed, said she was “extremely remorseful” and of good character. He described Ahmed’s deception as “unplanned” and “immature” and although the e-scooter rider sustained significant injuries, there was no criticism of her driving.
Mr Recorder Sprawson said that while perverting the course of justice usually results in imprisonment, he chose to take “extraordinary action” in what he described as “one in 100”.
Mr Sprawson said: “When I read the prejudice report this morning, I had no doubt for a moment that I would send you both to prison.”
He continued: “Having listened to what was said on your behalf and having seen you in this courtroom, I can see that you are genuine and sincere in your repentance.
“If you hadn’t contacted the emergency services or stayed and dealt with the person on the ground, I would have sent you both to jail today.”
Ahmed and Liu each received a 12-month community directive; They have to do 150 hours of unpaid work. Both have six points on their licenses and have to pay £250 in prosecution costs.