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Friday, January 19, 2018

Nigerian Epileptic Mum Who Killed 18-Month-Old Daughter Spared Jail

A Nigerian mum who killed her 18-month-old daughter when she suffered an epileptic fit at the wheel has been spared jail.

Chidinma Anya, 45, was slammed by Old Bailey judge Rebecca Poulet for driving despite being told not to by a neurologist.

The Judge said mum-of-four Anya had an "intermittent and unreliable" attitude to her medication.

Anya killed the youngest of her children, 18-month-old Eugenie, and left electrician Dean Snow unable to work for several months when her Vauxhall Zafira people mounted a grass verge before ploughing into his van in November 2015.


In the back of her car, accident investigators discovered a prescription given to her in September for epilepsy drug phenytoinsodium (corr) which had not been collected.

Sentencing Anya, Judge Poulet QC said: "The consequence of the crash was catastrophic.

"Members of the public tried to help and your two children were removed from the back of the car.

"You were seen and heard to be screaming you were injured and were crying out about your own condition and were also shouting that you wanted to die.

"Your own 18-month-old daughter died in hospital just a few days after the crash from her injuries.

"A driving expert has concluded that there were no faults in either vehicle involved in the crash and neither was there any event that could have contributed to it.

"He said the crash was due to driver input, whether initially by error or as a result of a medical episode.

"Your seizures were not fully controlled and the medication which you should have taken regularly was some what intermittent and unreliable.

"A prescription for phenytoinsodium was found in the back of your car and was uncollected from September.

"You were well aware of your condition and that it was not fully controllable.

"I am quite satisfied that you have been told by at least one neurologist that you must not drive."

Anya was given a 24 month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

She was also made subject to a tagged curfew when she will have to stay indoors between 9pm and 6am for two months.

Judge Poulet said she considered the loss of little Eugenie, Anya's own injuries and the deep remorse she has suffered since the crash when handing down the sentence.

She also criticised the "long delay" by the CPS which had the case file for 18 months after the fatal crash before bringing charges against the mum.

Anya was supported by the father of her children Bernard Anigbo, who sat in the public gallery throughout the sentencing hearing.

A statement read by Anya's counsel stated she was "selfless, loving and caring and puts the needs of others before herself."

Judge Poulet added: "There is substantial mitigation that can be considered at this stage.

"I take into account the loss of your own 18-month-old daughter, the serious injuries to yourself, your increased number and gravity of your seizures since and your deep remorse and otherwise good character and finally the very long time it has taken for you to be charged with this offence.

"You have three other children who have lost their sister who would be devastated if you were sentenced into custody."

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