A learner driver from Leeds who killed a nine-year-old girl whilst on her first driving lesson was jailed for two years on Wednesday.

34-year-old Beatrice Mawamba panicked and drove down a narrow alleyway into a grassed courtyard crushing Shamirah Grant to death and injuring two other girls, one seriously.

Michael Smith, prosecuting, said:

The children describe playing in the early evening and saw a man and woman in a green Vauxhall car. The man was giving some sort of instruction to the woman. The children heard the engine revving and saw it stutter and come flying down towards them fast.

When Mawamba was challenged by the police she was unable to say which pedal was the brake, with the judge at Leeds Crown Court concluding that she was ‘profoundly ignorant’ of the most basic driving skills.

Mawamba covered her face as she arrived for sentencing at Leeds Crown Court on 21 December

Mawamba, a mother-of-three, admitted causing death by dangerous driving in May this year. She was banned from driving for five years and must take an extended test when her ban ends.

Gary and Jennifer Grant, the girl’s parents, said in a statement that although their daughter’s death had left a ‘heart-rending gap’ within their family’s lives, they had ‘forgiven those present in the vehicle’.