22-Year-Old Criminology Student May be Spared Jail After Admitting to Killing Her 16-Year-Old Sister in Car Crash as Judge Says Pain the Family Suffered is Enough Punishment

Elif (left), an aspiring barrister and 16-year-old sister of Kaya (right), died at the scene in 2016

A criminology student could be spared jail after she admitted killing her 16-year-old sister in an horrific car crash. 

Meliha Kaya, 22, was travelling above the 30mph speed limit when her Mini Cooper collided with a BMW and careered off the road and into a tree.

Her car came to rest in a garden area outside flats in South Woodford, East London. Kaya’s 16-year-old sister Elif, an aspiring barrister, died at the scene in the early hours of February 13, 2016.

She had been sitting in the front passenger seat and was the only one of the three wearing a seatbelt.

Kaya, a criminology student at Middlesex University, suffered life threatening injuries and underwent plastic surgery to her face after the accident.

She has been left with no memory of it, the Old Bailey heard. Her friend sitting in the back, Ayla Osman, was also seriously injured in the smash.

Criminology student Meliha Kaya, pictured outside the Old Bailey in London yesterday

Kaya admitted causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Jordash Graham, 24, admitted dangerous driving after speeding in his Ford Focus closely behind her along High Road and Chigwell Road before the collision.

The two drivers – who knew each other through friends – had not long left a function at The George pub on Wanstead High Street a mile-and-a-half away.

Judge Wendy Joseph QC told Kaya it was ‘fair and humane’ to give her full credit for her plea and said it would be possible to suspend any term of imprisonment when she is sentenced on Friday.

‘I am bound to say that it seems to me that the injury which she has suffered, the physical injury she has recovered from, the injury she has inflicted on herself and her family, is one from which they can never recover,’ she said.

‘There is no sentence I can impose which could begin to put it right.

The Mini Cooper came to rest in a garden area outside flats in South Woodford, East London

‘There is nothing she can do that could ever put it right, and it seems to me that that particular feature; that she and all of her family have lost through her actions a beloved younger sister, is of allowing me to suspend a sentence.’

The judge said she was concerned that the smash would send out the wrong message that ‘someone was safer by not wearing a seatbelt’ when it emerged Elif was the only person wearing one.

Prosecutor Julian Evans said Elif had been sitting in the front passenger seat, rather than in the back as she usually would, and it was the front right portion of the Mini which ‘bore the brunt’ of the collision.

She was studying her A Levels at Epping Forest College and dreamed of becoming a barrister.

Her mother Demet Kaya, 36, said after the accident: ‘She was an angel. She was a lovely daughter. She wanted to be a barrister and was doing so well.

‘This is just so unfair. She was a very fair child, very confident and strong character. She was so intelligent and worked very hard.’

Meliha Kaya, of Woodford, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Graham, of Leytonstone, admitted dangerous driving. They will be sentenced on Friday.

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Mark Duell