The man who killed a teenager in Manchester, England with cocaine in his system revealed in a court hearing Monday that he initially mistook her for a piece of trash in the street.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Liam Flaherty, now 35, admitted to the Minshull Street Crown Court that he thought Ayesha Rahman, 19 years old at the time of her death, was “a discarded bag” as she was lying in a roadway when he fatally hit her at 11:30pm on July 20, 2015. Flaherty claims he didn’t recognize Rahman as a person until it was too late to avoid running her over with his vehicle. She died from her injuries days later.
Flaherty was charged in Feb. 2016 with causing “death by driving without due care” and “driving while under the influence of cocaine”—which he admitted to taking the day prior. Flaherty, currently serving a five-year-and-one-month drug sentence in Spain, was given 16 months of jail time in the UK Monday for Rahman’s death, though he will finish the Spanish term first.
It’s unclear why Rahman was in the road, though she was, according to friends, intoxicated on the night of her death. They believed she had safely made her way home.
Defense attorney Stuart Drake addressed the court before the sentencing.
“This is a sad case,” he said. “No one will know how she came to be lying in the road on that fateful evening. The defendant says not a day goes by without him thinking about Ayesha.”
“He expresses remorse and regret, he accepts if he had paid more attention he wouldn’t be standing here today.”
“He apologizes, no sentence will take away the events of that night.”
Judge Maurice Greene handed down Flaherty’s suspended punishment, which included the loss of his driver’s license for three years.
“The facts themselves are highly unusual as she was already in the road and you had little time to react,” the judge said.