A JUDGE blasted drivers who hire high-powered vehicles as he sentenced a man to jail for killing a nine-year-old boy.

Judge Simon Newell criticised the ‘stupidity’ and ‘bravado’ of young men from East Lancashire who speed after hiring vehicles for special occasions.

Preston Crown Court saw distressing CCTV footage of Blackburn schoolboy Adam Limbada being propelled 20 metres after being hit by a white BMW 4 Series which was driven by Atif Dayaji in Whalley New Road, Blackburn, on August 4, last year.

Seconds before the fatal collision Dayaji, 26, of St Stephen’s Avenue, Blackburn, had been driving at speeds of up to 69mph in a 30mph zone.

Experts said at the point of impact Dayaji was doing between 41mph and 47mph but if he had been travelling at 30mph then he would have been able to brake in time.

Addressing Dayaji, Judge Newell, said: “This is not the first time we have had cases like this before the courts.

“When I say that, I mean the hiring of high-powered vehicles by young men in the Blackburn and East Lancashire area who hire them for special occasions. Often these men have no, or very little, experience of driving such vehicles.

“They often take advantage of such vehicles to show off, to display bravado and thereby stupidly obtaining high speed. They often display confidence and abilities behind the wheel that they don’t have.

“I have seen a number of chases where the police trained drivers may be driving through an area like this, but these people have substantial knowledge and capability. Nobody, even a trained police officer, would approach that junction at 70mph.

“It seems to me that it needs to be made clear that someone hiring a vehicle and driving dangerously, whatever the consequences, will face the full weight of the law.”

Prosecutor Hanifa Patel said that, having been to mosque and then for a milkshake, Adam and his father had become separated minutes before the crash happened at around 10.55pm.

And the youngster was walking to his father when he was struck in the middle of the road.

Ms Patel said Adam had already let two other vehicles pass, before being hit by the car Dayaji had hired earlier that day to attend a family wedding.

Mr Limbada had cried out ‘Adam stop’ moments before his son was struck, the prosecutor said.

Having been hit at the lights Adam was thrown into the air, over two parked cars and landed close to the TSB bank.

Ms Patel said Mr Limbada ran to his son and cradled his body but Adam was not talking or crying.

Despite the best efforts of his father, the public, police and paramedics Adam, who leaves behind his mother, father and three sisters, could not be revived and was pronounced dead when he arrived at Royal Blackburn Hospital.

In an emotional victim impact statement read out in court by Adam’s uncle, the judge heard how the family had been left devastated by his sudden death.

Mr Phansa said: “We have lost Adam. The pain is unbearable and we wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

“The only reason our son is not with us today is because of this one person, who on that night drove a high-powered vehicle for his own pleasure and joy. Our son has become a victim of that.”

Defending, Ricky Holland said his client was from a good family and had never been in trouble before.

He said his client had not only wrecked his own life, but that of his own family, as well as Adam’s family and friends.

In a letter read out in court by Mr Holland, Dayaji said despite not knowing Adam he felt like he had lost a younger brother and asked the youngster’s family for forgiveness.

The letter read: “This is an extremely difficult letter to write and without doubt an even harder letter to receive. I would like to start off by strongly emphasising how truly sorry I am and I accept full responsibility for what happened that night.”

Sentencing Dayaji to four years behind bars, Judge Simon Newell said his powers were limited by guidelines laid down by the High Court and said nothing he could pass would ever reflect the loss of Adam’s life.

Dayaji, who pleaded guilty to a single charge of causing death by dangerous driving, was also banned from driving for seven years and ordered to take an extended driving test.

Speaking after the case, Sgt John Jennings-Wharton, said: “The death of nine-year-old Adam Imfal-Limbada is an utter tragedy, not least because it was completely avoidable.

“Had Dayaji been driving carefully and to the speed limit Adam would almost certainly have made it home safely that night. Dayaji now has to spend the rest of his life with a young child’s death on his conscience.

“Our sympathies now lie with Adam’s family and friends. They have lost a very much-loved young boy, and I can only hope they take some crumb of comfort from the fact justice has been served and Dayaji is now facing time behind bars.”