‘Nothing will undo our pain’: Friend admits causing young mum’s death by dangerous driving

Tamika Malo, Taleyah, and Dwight Denis

Tamika Malo, Taleyah, and Dwight Denis - Credit: Archant

The bereaved partner of Tamika Malo, who was crushed to death beneath the car of a family friend in a botched manoeuvre, has spoken of the pain he felt as the day of her death was recalled in court.

Olugbenga Shofolahan, 44, hit 30-year-old Tamika Malo when he reversed at high speed out of her driveway on October 12, 2013.

Her seven-year-old daughter Taleyah Denis was looking on.

Taleyah had been for a sleepover at Shofolahan’s home with his children and he was dropping her back home in Lordship Road, Stoke Newington.

Ms Malo had just got out of a taxi and was paying her fare when the Honda Civic shot across the road and hit her before smashing into a garden wall.

Shofolahan, of Lea View House, Springfield, Lower Clapton, initially denied causing death by dangerous driving but changed his plea on the second day of his trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Ms Malo’s partner Dwight Denis, said: “It’s brought a little bit of closure, but it was very hard to listen to it all. Before he changed his plea we were made to listen to the whole thing. It dragged me back to that very day, hearing all the details.

Most Read

“I feel as though that chapter has been closed and now we can move forward, but no matter how many years [in jail] he gets it is not going to undo the hurt and the pain that he has caused, even though it was an accident.

“He has destroyed a lot of lives that we are now together trying to rebuild.

“Tamika’s dad and mum and her aunty and my family all play a big role in trying to raise Taleyah as best as we can in the circumstances.

“There have been ups and downs but we have pulled together and there are some people that I am closer to, and people have shown great love and support.”

Shofolahan had only just passed his UK driving test and had bought the automatic vehicle a couple of weeks previously.

Prosecutor James Brown said: “It’s a tragic case, not just because Ms Malo lost her life, but also because the defendant knew her.”

Mr Brown said: “[The taxi driver] saw the Honda’s reverse light come on, and as far as he could see the defendant wasn’t looking round to see behind him, then all of a sudden at great speed he moved backwards and hit the side of the vehicle.

“It seemed to him that the defendant was not in control of the vehicle, and at some point, it’s not entirely clear when, the defendant’s car hit Ms Malo.

“It then shot across the road about 18 metres where it crashed.’

Sentencing has been adjourned until March 31.