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Man jailed for 14 years following fatal collision in Tottenham

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Man jailed for 14 years following fatal collision in Tottenham

A man was sentenced today in relation to a fail-to-stop collision which killed an elderly man in Haringey in 2017.

John Francis Heneghan, known to all as ‘Frank’, then aged 72, was left critically injured after he was struck at speed by a car driven by 31-year-old Anop Singh, who then invented a series of lies in a desperate bid to distance himself from the incident.

Singh, (05.10.90), of Jessam Avenue E5, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice in March 2021. He was given court bail after the jury could not reach an agreement regarding a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

The case has been delayed by administrative challenges and Covid but finally concluded on Wednesday, 11 May when Singh was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving. He was sentenced on Friday, 13 May at Wood Green Crown Court to a total of 14 years’ imprisonment.

The court heard that on Saturday, 12 August 2017, Frank had alighted a bus in High Road, N15 at around 01:30hrs having been out for the night with friends.

He began to cross the road to the opposite carriageway when he was struck by a grey VW Golf at a speed estimated to be between 47 and 76 mph, in an area with a 30 mph speed limit.

Frank was left at the scene after the vehicle made off. Police and paramedics attended but there was little they could do, so severe were his injuries. He was pronounced dead at 01:54hrs.

A man was arrested shortly afterwards when a witness identified him as the driver of the car. He was taken into custody; however it transpired that he was in fact the front seat passenger, and had run back to the scene in disbelief after exiting the vehicle a short distance down the road.

Singh meanwhile had travelled home and parked the car on his drive.

He called police from a relative’s phone at 07:30hrs, claiming he had been awoken in the back seat of his car by family. He said he believed his car had been involved in some sort of collision but that he was asleep in the rear at the time, that he could not remember anything, and that he did not know the driver.

He was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and answered no comment to all questions asked.

Detectives from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit began a meticulous investigation to piece together the events from that night.

They tracked CCTV and discovered that Singh had been out drinking with two other men (one of whom was the other man arrested) at two bars in Haringey. They spent around two hours drinking vodka and champagne at the second bar before being ejected by staff at around 23:00hrs.

Singh returned to remonstrate before going back to his vehicle with the one of the other men and finally driving off at around 00:21hrs. ANPR cameras picked up the Golf travelling along Seven Sisters Road, N4 at 01:34hrs, in very close proximity to the collision site.

Singh’s phone number was identified and he was found to have made 53 phone calls between 01:37hrs and 02:39hrs. 38 of those calls were to one number and the rest to four different phone numbers, proving that he could not have been asleep during that period, as he had claimed. The actual phone he used has never been recovered.

Officers also found Singh had substantial swelling to his eye when arrested, believed to have been caused by the collision. CCTV from the night before did not appear to show any such injury. The clothing he had been wearing was also found to be different on arrest.

Forensic evidence from the vehicle further proved Singh was behind the wheel when the vehicle struck Frank in the High Road.

A post-mortem examination held on 17 August at Haringey Mortuary gave cause of death as multiple injuries.

Singh was charged by postal requisition in September 2019.

The other man who was arrested was released with no further action.

Detective Inspector Cheryl Frost who led the investigation said: “Firstly I’d like to pay tribute to Frank’s family, who have displayed the most incredible courage and dignity during what has been an incredibly protracted process. They were present again throughout this trial and have had to listen in detail to how Frank was so awfully taken from them. I would like to thank them all for their unwavering support throughout our investigation.

“By all accounts Frank was a much loved man. He was originally from County Mayo in Ireland but had lived in South Tottenham for some time. Frank was on his way home having been out for the night with friends.

“The only way to describe Anop Singh is as a coward and a liar. He knew exactly what he had done but still attempted to spin a web of lies, going to great lengths in disposing of his phone and clothing. He even claimed a family member had awoken him in his car that morning – but that relative refused to confirm that in a statement to police. It appears there is little he would say or do to get away with it, but our investigation was able to prove beyond all doubt that he was responsible.

“There is nothing we can do to bring Frank back, but I hope his family have some sense of peace in knowing that officers from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, in particular DC Owen Randall, have done everything we could to bring Anop Singh to justice.”

In an emotional statement, Frank’s four adult children said: “John ‘Frank’ Heneghan was a former farmer, builder and publican. He had retired shortly before his untimely death in 2017 at the age of 72. He was a loving husband, married to his wife Derry for forty-two years. Devoted to his wife, he nursed her through a long illness before her death in 2012. A father of four, he was always warm and affectionate with his children, and always encouraged and inspired them to be the best they could be. He was a doting grandfather and loved spending time with his seven grandchildren, making them laugh and telling them stories. His own father had died when he was just thirteen and he grew up as one of the eldest of a family of fourteen brothers and sisters in poverty in the West of Ireland.

“As a young man he was a member of the Irish Army Band and one of his proudest moments was shaking President John F. Kennedy’s hand after he played for him on his arrival to Shannon Airport in 1963. He was actively involved in sport, playing non-league football for Feltham FC in the sixties and founding a football team in his hometown of Kilmaine, in Co. Mayo, Ireland when he returned to live there in the seventies. The team still exists to this day and there has been a cup established in his name.

“Family was the most important thing to him, and he saw his children and grandchildren on a daily basis right up until his death. He was also close to his brothers and sisters, and nephews and nieces, meeting them all a number of times a year in the UK and in Ireland. Throughout his life he was a mentor and teacher to many, through work and in his sporting life and he was actively involved in charity work, establishing a musical tour in the west of Ireland that took place every summer and raised money for many local charities. Hundreds attended his funerals, one held in London and one in his hometown and the streets were lined with mourners.

“Frank had a good wit and a generous nature and was loved by everyone who knew him. His family and friends were all devastated by the cruel loss when he was killed. All we are left with are our memories of a kind and gentle man who worked hard, treated everyone with respect, was funny and charming and had a roguish twinkle in his eye.

“The defendant in this case has behaved in a contemptible and appalling manner throughout. For five long years he has constantly lied and lied and has never once shown any sliver of remorse for killing our dad.

“He has put us through hell. First by callously killing our dad Frank and then by constantly lying and offering not even a word of sympathy or remorse. Well today this evil, selfish man has finally been brought to justice.”

= Anop Singh, 31 (05.10.90), of Jessam Avenue E5 was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment for causing death by dangerous driving and two years’ imprisonment for perverting the course of justice – sentences to run consecutively. He was also banned from driving for 14 years and will be made to take an extended driving test.