Two men have been convicted of causing death by dangerous driving after a teenage girl was hit by a car and killed as she walked to college.
Alisha Goup, 16, was killed after she was struck by a car that was being driven at 66mph in a 30mph shortly before the collision, on Rochdale Road, Oldham, Greater Manchester, in February.
The BMW car was being driven by Omar Choudhury, 22, who mounted the pavement while trying to overtake a car on the wrong side of the road, before clipping another vehicle and losing control.
Shortly before the crash, he had been pursued in another BMW by Hamidur Rahman, 24, a member of his extended family, with whom he had a feud.
Both men were found guilty at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester on Monday of causing death by dangerous driving.
They had admitted driving dangerously, but denied causing Alisha's death.
The court heard Rahman blamed Choudhury for telling his family about a relationship he was having with a woman that did not meet their approval.
The two men, both driving BMWs, met by chance earlier on Chadderton Way on 23 February, and Rahman brandished a baseball bat and Choudhury sped off "like a rocket", the court heard.
Prosecutor Henry Blackshaw told the court that Rahman was driving "aggressively" and was "intent on pursuing him".
Witnesses said they thought the cars were "racing", the court was told.
Although Rahman turned off the road a few seconds before Choudhury's car hit the teenager, the prosecution said he was just as guilty because he had made a "significant contribution" to how Choudhury drove.
Alisha, from Royton, was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision, which happened at about 1.30pm near the Royal Oldham Hospital.
The court heard that Choudhury told a police officer at the scene: “I was driving down the road and I was going too fast because I was trying to get away, because these men were chasing me with a knife, and now someone has punched me.”
A member of the public punched Choudhury following the collision, the court heard.
He claimed to have no memory of the crash after waking up in hospital, and was told he'd "killed a girl".
Choudhury said in court he had "driven like an idiot" because he claimed he was in a life-threatening situation.
The jury found both men guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.
Choudhury, from Broadway, Oldham, and Rahman, of Tilbury Street, Oldham, will be sentenced on 4 September.
Anthony Stanway, senior crown prosecutor for Crown Prosecution Service North West, said: “Hamidur Rahman and Omar Choudhury’s manner of driving was selfish and reckless.
"They put many lives at risk that day with the worst possible outcome, the death of a young girl who had her whole life ahead of her.
“Neither man took responsibility for their actions, putting Alisha’s family through the further trauma of a trial. Nothing can bring Alisha back, but I hope this conviction goes some way to comfort her family at this difficult time.”
“All drivers have a responsibility to drive safely, this case shows the devastating consequences of not doing so. We will robustly prosecute those who disregard the rules of the road and the safety of pedestrians and other road users.”
What is the Violet-Grace's Law and the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving?
Previously, the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving was 14 years in prison and a driving ban of at least two years.
However, the law was changed last year under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.
It means that the maximum sentence for an offence committed after 28 June 2022 has now increased to life imprisonment, along with a driving ban of at least five years.
The legislation change was dubbed 'Violet-Grace's Law' after four-year-old Violet-Grace Youens, who was killed in St Helens, Merseyside, in 2017 by hit-and-run driver Aidan McAteer, who was 23 at the time.
He was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to nine years and four months in prison, but was released at the end of 2021 after serving about half of his sentence.