Grieving mum of Sheffield hit-and-run victim opens her heart to describe the impact of the tragic death

Jasmyn Chan's mum arriving at court
Jasmyn Chan's mum arriving at court
0
Have your say

Read the heartbreaking victim statement read out in court today by Jasmyn Chan’s mum, Paula McCullie, on the day her daughter’s killer was jailed:

“Even from such a young age Jasmyn was a very loving child and always had a kiss or a cuddle. This part of her never changed. Jasmyn had so much love to give.

“Unfortunately when Jas was two years old, her dad and I split. It was a very amicable break up and we still remain very good friends to this day. In 2004 I met my partner Danny and two years later, when Jasmyn was six years old I gave birth to Libby.

“Jas doted on her new baby sister. She would be there for every feed and nappy change wanting to help. Our family was complete.

“Over the years Jasmyn blossomed into a beautiful, popular young girl. Always happiest acting the tomboy, riding her bike or learning new tricks on her skateboard.

“By the time Jas reached 14, she knew exactly who she was and what she wanted from lifeShe was doing fantastic at school and dreamt of being an architect one day, designing and building her own house. Art was definitely a way Jasmyn found to express herself, that, and dancing.

“Wherever Jasmyn went her music could always be heard. Music really was a huge part of Jasmyn’s life.

“Jasmyn in a nutshell was a beautiful, loving and generous girl with a heart made of pure gold.

“Only last year she had 27 inches of hair cut off so she could donate it to a charity that makes wigs for little girls with cancer. Some people are just born special, Jasmyn was one of those people.

“May 9th, 2014, the day my world stopped turning. The words from that awful telephone call ‘Paula, Jasmyn’s has been hit by a car’ will haunt me till the day that I die.

“My memories of arriving at Normanton Hill that night are horrendous, I knew from the second I saw Jas laid there that she had died.

“An off duty paramedic, ambulance crew and police were all attempting CPR, and tending to the other child that had been hit by the same car but I knew I don’t know how, I just knew that she had gone.

“I can remember asking a police woman where the car and driver was. When she told me it was a hit-and-run, my legs buckled and I can remember screaming ‘WHY?’ Why would someone hurt my baby like this.

“Another memory that haunts me is the fact I wasn’t allowed to travel in the ambulance to hospital with her. All I kept thinking was ‘What if I’m wrong and she comes round and wants

me? What if she’s frightened and needs her mum?’

“Eventually police took me to the Children’s Hospital. On the journey there I had to ring Jasmyn’s dad and explain what had happened. He was just shouting ‘NO, NO, NO’ over

and over again. Our nightmare had only just begun.

“Doctors and nurses tried their best to resuscitate Jas but when the nurse came to tell us that Jas had passed away, no words were needed. The look on her face said it all.

“I was taken to see Jasmyn to say my goodbyes. The image of her, laying in the hospital bed, with blood all over her head and face is an image that has kept me from sleep most

nights and I imagine it always will.

“That night, I learned that Jasmyn had pushed her friend out of the path of the oncoming car. She had sacrificed her own life to save another. This shows exactly the kind of courageous, selfless girl she was.

“The next morning we had the horrendous job of breaking the news to Libby, then aged eight, that her big sister had been killed. I honestly thought that after seeing Jasmyn the night

before my heart couldn’t possibly break any more. I was wrong, hearing Libby sobbing for her big sister and the look on her little face was one of the most gut wrenching moments of

my life.

“Over the next few days, our family liaison officer was advising us to do a public appeal to try and find the driver of the car as nobody had come forward and no car matching the description had been found.

“Five days after the accident myself and Jasmyn’s dad, Peter, decided we needed to do the appeal. Somebody somewhere knew something and for Jasmyn’s sake we had to give it a shot.

Thankfully straight after the appeal a family member of the driver informed the police of his whereabouts and Naseed Ellahi was arrested. The car is yet to be found.

“Hoping to lay our daughter to rest then, we started gathering ideas for Jasmyn’s funeral. This was short lived as another blow was delivered. The driver of the car was entitled to a second post-mortem and was exercising that right.

“Devastating for us, he then fired his solicitor due to the fact he wanted legal aid to pay for this procedure and he was told that this was not possible. This meant that the second unnecessary post mortem did not go ahead as planned resulting in my child laying in a morgue for a further two-and-a-half weeks.

“You can only try to imagine what that feels like.

“The most sickening part of this is that he then re-instated the same solicitor and still went ahead with his right for a second post-mortem.

“I wondered many times in those two-and-a-half weeks ‘What could another pathologist find on the same person that could possibly be worth Naseeb Ellahi adding all this extra pain and

heartache to our family for? How much more does he want us to go through?’

“Jasmyn’s funeral was beautiful. It was exactly what we wanted. A true hero’s send off. Still the memory of seeing that little white coffin and knowing my child was inside, I still find it hard to comprehend, still to this day.

“Every second of every day since Jasmyn’s death has been such a terrible struggle. The grief of losing a child is horrendous.

“I have had countless sleepless nights re-living every moment over and over in my head, that much, that on occasions I have thought I was going mad. My weight dropped from nine stone

to just seven within six weeks.

“Our lives have been literally ripped apart and there is a huge hole in our hearts that can never be filled. Our family have been devastated by what’s happened, nothing feels right

any more.

“We have had to face days in court, sometimes within a few feet of the person who decided to get in a car, with no insurance, not even a driving licence. Who chose to speed at over

twice the speed limit, who hit my daughter and then left her there to die. There are no words I can find to explain how seeing him makes me feel.

“For weeks and weeks after Jasmyn was taken from us, I felt like I had a scream stuck in my throat. I was terrified because I knew if I let that scream out that it would never stop.

“One of the worst things to come from all this is how it has affected Libby. She was once such a bubbly, happy little girl, now she is frightened, anxious and clingy. She isn’t able to sleep in her own bed any more as she is now terrified of the dark and is so worried about something happening to us that apart from the time she is at school, she will never leave our sides.

“It breaks my heart to imagine what is going on in her little head and how losing her big sister will affect the rest of her life.

“This is something none of us will ever get over. People keep telling me that time heals, it doesn’t, it just makes me miss her more.

“The scream in my throat has almost gone, it is being replaced by a horrible sadness right in the middle of my heart.

“My daughter was 14 years old, just getting ready to face the world and her dreams. We’ll never know if Jas would have achieved her dreams, we’ll never know if she would have

been married, had kids. We’ll just never know.

“Jasmyn didn’t deserve to die the way she did and we don’t deserve the pain that we have to live with every single day.

“Whatever sentence is given, it will never be long enough to justify leaving two children at the side of the road. One dead and one seriously injured. It won’t bring Jasmyn back and it will never compare to the life sentence that myself, Jasmyn’s family and her friends have around our necks.

“The hardest thing we have ever had to hear was that Jasmyn had died. The hardest thing we have ever had to do is live every moment since.”