IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Four years for driver who hit drinkers

20 October, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Paramedics tend one of the injured outside The Old Queen’s Head in Essex Road. Picture: Jade Barlow on Twitter

THE driver of a stolen car which ploughed into drinkers outside a busy Essex Road pub has been sentenced to four years behind bars.

Jason Furtado, 20, of Southgate Road, Islington, was behind the wheel of the silver Peugeot Partner Quicksilver when it careered off the road and towards a group of about 20 people waiting outside the Old Queen’s Head on March 25.

It happened days after the Westminster terror attack, sparking fears it was a deliberate act.

The car had been stolen days earlier from Woodstock Road, Finsbury Park.

A police car spotted the stolen vehicle but Furtado tried to speed away before losing control.

The car hit three of the pedestrians, sending two of them over the bonnet. One was carried along by the vehicle before falling off and being run over and dragged along by the car.

One woman suffered life-changing injuries and is still undergoing treatment.

The men in the car tried to escape but four were arrested by police. They were sentenced on Friday at Blackfriars Crown Court after being found guilty.

Malique Howe, 19, of south London, was sentenced to a 12-month term at a youth offenders’ institute, suspended for 12 months, for aggravated theft of a motor vehicle. He was disqualified from driving for three years.

Aqeel Smith, 18, of Islington, was sent to a youth offenders’ institute for 18 months for aggravated theft of a motor vehicle. He was disqualified from driving for 21 months.

A 17-year-old teenager received 18 months’ detention and a training order for aggravated theft of a motor vehicle, and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.

The teenager was found guilty in his absence after failing to turn up for his trial. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

A 15-year-old boy received a 12-month youth referral order for aggravated theft of a motor vehicle.

Furtado, who managed to escape after the crash, but was arrested the next day, received two years’ and eight months’ imprisonment for dangerous driving to cause serious injury and a year and four months’ imprisonment for affray, sentences to run consecutively. He was disqualified from driving for three years.

After the sentencing, one of the victims wrote online: “The driver who half-nearly killed me and my best friend got four years in prison yesterday. The rest of the gang in the car got a range of other sentences.

Finally feel I can start to close the chapter on all this. Lots of physio and therapy to do but getting there.”

Detective Sergeant Samuel Benbow said: “This was a cowardly act by these young males, who were recklessly out of control. They have caused innocent victims to suffer life-changing injuries.”

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