Grieving father berates judge after speeding driver who killed his daughter, 11, avoids jail

Ellen Manning
·3-min read
Olu Onubogu, 53, was rushing home from work when he hit Isabelle Boshell. (SWNS)
Olu Onubogu, 53, was rushing home from work when he hit Isabelle Boshell. (SWNS)

A grieving father shouted at a judge and stormed out of court after a speeding driver who killed his 11-year-old daughter escaped a prison sentence.

Ola Onubogu, 53, was travelling at 47mph in a 30mph zone as he rushed home from work when he ploughed into Isabelle Boshell in Coventry in October.

The 11-year-old was rushed to hospital but died four days later.

Onubogu, of Coventry, admitted causing death by careless driving last month and was warned he faced a prison term.

But instead, he was handed a six-month suspended sentence, 120 hours of unpaid work and a 15-month driving ban at Warwick Crown Court.

FILE PICTURE - Isabelle Boshell.  A speeding driver who was rushing home from work when he hit and killed a young girl as she ran across the road in front of him has escaped being jailed.  See SWNS story SWMDdeath.  And 11-year-old Isabelle Boshell’s irate father stormed out of court when he realised a judge at Warwick Crown Court was about to give driver Ola Onubogu a suspended sentence.  Onubogu (54) of Wappenbury Road, Wood End, Coventry, had pleaded guilty to causing Isabelle’s death in October last year by careless driving.  He was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years, ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and banned from driving for 15 months.
Isabelle Boshell was rushed to hospital after being hit by the car but died four days later. (SWNS)

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As the 53-year-old was sentenced, the schoolgirl's father Matthew Boshell stood up in court and told the judge "this is a sh*t show" before walking out.

In a statement to the court, the grieving father described how he watched his daughter's "lips turn blue and her hands go cold" after her life support machine was turned off.

Judge Anthony Potter told Onubogu: "There is nothing you can do and nothing I can do that can possibly take away the pain Isabelle’s family suffer and will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives.

"You accept you were travelling at greater than the speed limit and at a stage where you approached where Isabelle was walking there is a pedestrian crossing and ‘slow’ painted on the surface.

"She came from the right side, running between traffic behind a van, and because of your speed you were unable to stop."

Ola Onubogu was speeding home from work when he hit Isabelle. (SWNS)
Ola Onubogu was speeding home from work when he hit Isabelle. (SWNS)

The judge added: "You are a parent yourself.

"It is impossible to imagine what goes through a parent’s mind when they are faced with the decision on whether they should allow life support to be withdrawn – and they had to make that decision.

"There are no words that could possibly express the loss the Boshell family has suffered.

"Had you obeyed the speed limit on that road, no matter how unpredictable Isabelle’s actions might have been, you would have been able to avoid that accident."

The court heard Onubogu was driving home from work on Tamworth Road in Coventry when Isabelle, who was with two friends, ran out into the road.

Prosecutor Graham Russell said police crash investigators confirmed that had he been travelling at 30mph he would have had time to brake.

The 11-year-old was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital with a brain injury but died four days later after having her life support turned off.

Before walking out of court, her father read a statement in which he said: "Every day I wake up and have to come to the realisation that Isabelle is no longer with us.

"The pain left behind is like nothing I have ever felt. It is with me every second I am awake.

"When they turned the machine off we watched her lips turn blue and her hands go cold.

"Walking out of the room was the hardest thing I have ever had to do."

In a statement, Onubogu said: "I have children of my own and cannot believe my actions have placed the family of another child in such pain."

Ruth Zentler-Munro, defending, said he was "deeply remorseful" and "absolutely stricken by his lack of judgement on that day", adding: "He is devastated by the consequences of his actions."

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