Breaking Newcastle Northrumbria

A dangerous driver has been jailed after he mowed down a teenage student in a hit-and-run and left her to die alone in the middle of the road

Mohammed Youssaf has been sentenced to 30 months behind bars for ploughing in to 18-year-old Emma Guilbert as she walked through Fenham in November 2018.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the 33-year-old driver was believed to have been travelling at more than 40mph on the 30mph road when he struck the Newcastle University student at a pedestrian crossing on Wingrove Road.

The impact of the collision was so great that Emma’s lifeless body came to rest more than 36 metres down the road.

But Youssaf did not stop at the scene and instead fled the area in his Peugeot 307 – leaving Emma to die in the middle of the road.

Witnesses immediately attended to the teenager and called an ambulance. She was rushed to hospital but sadly doctors were unable to save her life and she was pronounced dead three days later.

Youssaf later handed himself in and claimed that he had tried to ring 999 three times but the call failed to connect. Police found the 999 calls had been incorrectly dialled before being manually deleted from the phone.

He admitted a charge of death by careless driving but denied causing death by dangerous driving. The case went to trial and he was convicted of the more serious charge by a jury at Newcastle crown Court on Tuesday.

Youssaf, of Wingrove Road, Fenham, was handed a 30 month custodial sentence and a 51 month driving ban that will begin upon his release from custody.

Following the sentence, Inspector Ian Cutty, the lead investigator at Northumbria Police, said: “This is a horrendous case that has robbed a family of a loving young woman who had just taken her first steps into adulthood.

“Emma was starting an exciting new life in Newcastle but just weeks after her arrival she was mowed down by Mohammed Youssef and left to die alone in the middle of the road.

“His driving that night was appalling, he was driving so fast that Emma was flung more than 36 metres down the road by the force of his impact.

“But what made his actions so deplorable was the fact that he did not even bother to rush to her aid, instead fleeing the scene in a desperate attempt to avoid justice.

“I welcome the custodial sentence handed down by the judge and hope that it brings some justice to Emma’s family who have been torn apart by this senseless killing.

“This case shows the consequences of not driving responsibly on the roads. Emma’s life has been stolen away from her, her family have been left devastated and a young man has been put behind bars.”

The court was told how Emma, who was from the Manchester area, had been a Psychology student at Newcastle University for just six weeks when she was killed.

Her family were present in court to see Youssef sent to prison and have today revealed how “the light that illuminated our lives has gone”.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Emma’s father, Martin, said: “From the day Emma was born she lit up our lives and those around her.

“She was so caring, full of kindness, considerate in her thoughts and actions, intelligent, fun, witty – as parents we could go on, for she had so many gifts and talents.

“Emma went off to Newcastle University in September 2018 a bright intelligent young woman, full of anticipation and excitement about the new chapter in her life’s journey. She had the world at her feet.

“The day Emma was killed is etched in our family’s life forever. The day her life ended was the day our family’s life changed forever in the most harrowing, tragic, inconceivably inhumane way – because someone took her life, decided to speed in a car, hit our daughter violently and then sped away.

“We now have a family that is broken and can never be mended, because Emma is dead. The light that illuminated our lives has gone and with it that precious light has gone too from our lives.

“My life is now about surviving and functioning because it is not just Emma’s potential that is lost, but that of the whole family.

“But within our pain we want to reach out to those who cared for Emma in those final hours after she had been left for dead in the street.

“Thank you to the wonderful lady who stopped to do all she could to give Emma comfort as she lay dying; the ambulance paramedics who attended giving Emma the chance of surviving.

“Thank you to the staff in the intensive care unit, at Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary who were the last to care for her in this life.

“Thank you to those who witnessed what had happened, to those who were not callously in hiding but who provided evidence to the police to bring us to where we are today.

“Emma you will never be forgotten. You will never be left cast aside as you were that day. You will be held, precious in our hearts, forever.”