Hit-and-run speeding motorist hid from Hackney police in garden

Usama Gajia was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Usama Gajia was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court. - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

A hit-and-run motorist who crashed while going at twice the legal limit, leaving another motorist with a broken neck, then hid from police in a garden has been jailed.

Usama Gajia, 25, of the Mount, Mount Pleasant Lane, Upper Clapton, was driving his black BMW at 63mph down Upper Clapton Road, in the early hours of March 3.

A police patrol car spotted him and Gajia was chased and signalled to pull over.

But he roared off, careered into the wrong lane and smashed head on into Natanel Seruya’s Golf.

Gajia escaped from his vehicle and hid in a nearby garden before police arrived to find Mr Seruya staggering in the middle of the road.

Mr Seruya was treated in hospital for spinal injuries and a cut to his face.

He now has recurring nightmares and is likely to suffer long-term back pain after fracturing his neck bones.

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In a victim impact statement, he said that Gajia had taken his “health and his future”.

When Gajia was tracked down at his home address in Hackney at about 4am, hours after the accident, he told police he had been indoors all evening and his car must have been stolen.

But, during questioning, his mother said he had been out in his car.

Gajia pleaded guilty last month to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failing to report an accident and failing to provide his details.

He has previous convictions for resisting or obstructing a police officer, possession of class B drugs and dangerous driving. He was serving an eight-week suspended sentence for the driving offence at the time of the crash.

At Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday, Gajia was sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment and disqualified from driving for four years.

Andrew Cohen, defending, acknowledged that Gajia had not been helpful or honest with police on arrest but said his client was “remorseful”.