Drug driver returned to retrieve cocaine as pregnant woman's body lay under his car, court told

Noga Sella and her father Yoram Hirshfeld were killed in a collision
Noga Sella and her father Yoram Hirshfeld were killed in a collision

A pregnant scientist and her father were killed by a drug driver who initially left the scene but later returned to retrieve cocaine from his car, a court has heard.

Nitesh Bissendary, 30, was under the influence of the Class A drug when he lost control of his Alfa Romeo and veered into a family of five, it is alleged.

The crash, on Leopold Street in Ramsgate, Kent, left mother of two Noga Sella, 37, and her 81-year-old father Yoram Hirshfeld who was visiting from Israel, dead.

Mrs Sella's husband Omer, 40, suffered a lacerated spleen and their five-year-old daughter had a life-threatening head injury.

The couple's eight-year-old son also suffered shock and minor injuries.

Prosecutor Nina Ellin said that Bissendary had returned to the car to remove evidence of cocaine and had been driven there by his parents.

Yoram Hirshfeld died in the crash alongside his daughter
Yoram Hirshfeld died in the crash alongside his daughter

Eyewitnesses described hearing "crunching noises and screaming" outside a multi-story carpark at about 9.30pm on Aug 10, as the family - who were visiting from Cambridge - returned to their hotel after a meal.

Emergency services discovered Mrs Sella's body underneath the abandoned car. She was pronounced dead at the scene, having suffered multiple injuries and features of traumatic asphyxia.

Mr Hirshfeld suffered a cardiac arrest inside an ambulance and was pronounced dead at 11.40pm.

Bissendary, of Highlands Glade, Manston, has previously pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by careless driving but denies more serious charges of causing death by dangerous driving.

He also denies two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Bissendary admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, failing to provide a sample for analysis and possession with intent to supply cocaine.

At Canterbury Crown Court, Ms Ellin said the fault of the collision was entirely the defendant's.

She said Bissendary phoned his parents after the crash, who came to pick him up in their red Mercedes before all three walked over to the crime scene.

Noga Sella's two children were injured in the collision
Noga Sella's two children were injured in the collision

Bissendary was then seen climbing back into the car while Mrs Sella was lying underneath it. When he and his parents were arrested, police discovered 8.4g of cocaine hidden in the Mercedes.

PC Joanne Fordyce said she noticed Bissendary, his father Barjunsing and mother Sadhana watching the aftermath unfold shortly after the crash.

When she asked Bissendary to give a specimen of breath, he refused and claimed he had lost his phone.

Jurors heard that after PC Fordyce cautioned Bissendary, he replied: "The car just veered to the left, the tyre went flat, I don't remember after that, everything just smashed - everything went black.

"I literally pulled to the left, and I panicked and I jumped out because everything in front of me exploded, I didn't know what to do, then I run back."

Ms Ellin said Bissendary was driving the Alfa Romeo when it collided with the family on the pavement, where it "quite clearly" should not have been.

She said: "The very fact the vehicle mounted the kerb showed the defendant was not controlling his vehicle as a competent and careful driver should do. He did not take any avoiding action as his vehicle approached the family."

The prosecutor said his judgement was impaired by his use of illegal drugs, particularly cocaine.

She added: "In short, the Crown say his driving was dangerous - in other words it fell far below the standard of a careful and competent driver. There is no dispute that this defendant was the driver of the vehicle."

The trial continues.