son 21, heir to a £130 million fortune is facing jail after
leaving a baby paralysed in motoring offence in UK
London, April 03, 2008
NRI Antonio Boparan Singh, 21, son of Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan
(Britain's richest couples) is facing jail after leaving a baby
paralysed in a car crash. He has become the first person in Britain
to be convicted of a motoring offence on the strength of his car's
"black box" recorder.
Antonio Boparan was 19 at the time of the crash in November 2006
when he drove his mother's £57,000 powerful four-litre Range
Rover Sport at 70mph on a 30mph road, had overtaken one car and
was trying to pass a second when he ploughed into the oncoming
Jeep at an estimated 72mph. He had passed his driving test six
months before the accident.
Cerys Edwards, one-year-old, was secured in a child seat, suffered
massive injuries- a broken neck and brain damage. She needs a
ventilator to help her breathe and care round-the-clock.
Antonio Boparan's lawyer, Richard Langton said:
- The maximum sentence for dangerous driving is just two years.
- If Singh had killed Cerys Edwards , he would face a maximum
sentence of 14 years for causing death by dangerous driving.
Cerys's father, former office administrator, 41, said:
- I believe the maximum sentence of two years is absurdly lenient
for what he did
- We have been trying to concentrate on Cerys up to this point
but this man has dragged us through hell.
- By going to trial he dragged us here to stand and give evidence.
- I can't even begin to describe how I feel about him. He has
put us through absolute hell.
- Cerys is a real little fighter and the doctors say it is a
miracle that she survived. I am pleased to say that she is doing
- She is trying to breathe on her own now and is fighting really
Mr Langton, of Russell Jones & Walker in Birmingham, described
the stance as "callous" and plans to lodge a claim at
the High Court for a £1million interim payment. Boparan's
insurers had refused to cover the estimated £850,000 cost
of converting a house for Cerys to live in. They say they will
only offer a rental property. She will need special housing and
aids and equipment plus round-the-clock nursing for the rest of
Car's black box trapped speeding:
- The first time such technology, Car's black box
has played a role in a British court- Singh's trial used evidence
from a device fitted to the airbag system of his Range Rover
- Black box Data Recorder was used to establish that a force
equivalent to 42mph was lost in one fifth of a second in the
crash and it estimated that his speed at around 72mph at the
time of the accident.
- It also record a car's speed, deceleration, what gear the
car was in and other information such as the pressure on a brake
pedal at the time of a crash. It shuts off the fuel tanks, helping
to prevent an explosion.
- For the past 10 years the recorders has been used in the U.S.
Car's black box trapped speeding information
helped a jury to make a decision unanimously to convict Boparan
of dangerous driving. Antonio Boparan pleaded not guilty to dangerous
The Birmingham crown court jury also heard how five others were
hurt in the November 2006 crash at Sutton Coldfield. Judge
Frank Chapman said:
- You should expect a custodial sentence and you should expect
it to be at the top end of the two-year scale.
- You need to think about things, you have made a mistake and
you will have to be punished.
- There is no point trying to get away from it. If you run away
you will simply be putting it off.
Antonio Boparan's parents agreed to guarantee a £1million
surety for his bail. He will be sentenced later this month.
Ranjit Singh Boparan, father of Antonio Boparan said, "This
was a tragic accident that I deeply regret. My family has every
sympathy for Cerys and her family"
Mrs Baljinder Boparan, mother of Antonio Boparan said, "Her
son was in training to become a manager at the family firm."