"The internet searches showed a clear and premeditated process"
Nishaben Mistry, aged 37, of Loughborough, received a suspended sentence for leaving the scene of a crash that killed a 69-year-old pedestrian.
On December 15, 2022, Mistry believed she hit a bush at the time.
But when she discovered that her BMW 1 series had collided with a pedestrian, Mistry left the scene.
Mistry drove home after the crash on Havacre Lane in Coseley and googled ‘What happens to hit and run drivers who are later found by their licence plates’, ‘Police hit and run procedure UK’, ‘How long does an arrest take on a hit and run’, ‘Do most hit and run drivers get caught’, ‘Can you get away with a hit and run’ and ‘Do the police usually find the people behind hit and run accidents’.
It was later found that Mistry would have had a second to react to the situation.
There was no evidence to support any sort of careless or dangerous driving and no excess speed or distraction.
Mistry pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to stop.
At Birmingham Magistrates Court, Mistry was sentenced to 17 weeks custody, suspended for two years.
Mistry was also ordered to complete 240 hours unpaid work and 25 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days and she was disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Detective Sergeant Paul Hughes, of West Midlands Police’s serious investigation unit, said:
“I completely understand that on first reading this sentence appears very low when someone has unfortunately lost their life on our roads.
“However, in this case, a comprehensive investigation and a detailed reconstruction by a forensic collision investigator showed that Mistry only had one second to react to the pedestrian as he was masked from view.
“The manner of driving in this case did not highlight any offences.”
“Nevertheless, the law is quite clear in what you have to do after a collision and for Mistry it was not what she did, but more what she did next.
“The internet searches showed a clear and premeditated process and in passing sentence, the court found that the searches in particular betrayed her state of mind as ‘calculating rather than panicked’.
“Drivers who think it is acceptable not to stop after such a collision will be sought and prosecuted within the allowances of the law.
“The loss of life on our roads is not something we should accept and I offer my condolences to the family in this case and thank them for their patience and understanding.”