8-year-old Mustafa Ahmed mowed down crossing road in Plumstead - killer Nicholas Hopkins jailed

Eight-year-old Mustafa Ahmed who was mowed down and killed while crossing the road has been described as an ‘amazing little boy’ by his family
Grinning biker, Nicholas Hopkins, who mowed down and killed an eight-year-old boy on a pedestrian crossing has been jailed for 12 years. Picture: SWNSGrinning biker, Nicholas Hopkins, who mowed down and killed an eight-year-old boy on a pedestrian crossing has been jailed for 12 years. Picture: SWNS
Grinning biker, Nicholas Hopkins, who mowed down and killed an eight-year-old boy on a pedestrian crossing has been jailed for 12 years. Picture: SWNS

A grinning biker who mowed down and killed an eight-year-old boy on a pedestrian crossing has been jailed for 12 years. Unlicensed and uninsured Nicholas Hopkins, 20, ploughed into little Mustafa Ahmed as he crossed the road in Plumstead, south east London, with his dad and 10-year-old brother.

Mustafa died following the crash on February 19 last year while his brother Ahmed and father Mohammed both suffered “life changing” injuries. CCTV footage of the horrific incident played at Inner London Crown Court showed Hopkins speeding past stationary cars and through a set of red traffic lights.

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He then crashed into the family – catapulting all three of them into the air. The force of the impact meant that Mustafa was flung down the road and underneath a car. Experts calculated Hopkins was driving at nearly 60mph, despite the speed limit for the road being only 30mph.

Hopkins pleaded guilty in November to causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, causing death whilst uninsured, and causing death whilst unlicensed.

Mustafa’s aunt Sara choked back tears as she read a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing on Friday (February 2). She said: “Mustafa was an amazing little boy. He was like a son I never birthed. He was cheerful and helpful. He was everyone’s best friend.

“Him being snatched from our life was unlike any pain I have ever experienced. We as a family are traumatised and cannot live a normal life. Every time we see a motorbike we are reminded of the accident.

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“No parent should have to bury their child. Our current reality is adjusting to this new life that we never wanted or asked for.

“We are grateful for the eight years we spent with Mustafa. We will tell our future generations stories about him. He is in heaven where he belongs, as he was too good for this cruel world.”

Other members of the family, including Mustafa’s mother, cried as the statement was read out.

Prosecutor Louise Oakley told Inner London Crown Court that the harm in this case “is of the utmost seriousness because Mustafa lost his life”. She also detailed the extensive and “life changing” injuries sustained by Mustafa’s father Mohammed and brother Ahmed, who are suffering to this day.

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Hopkins, who appeared via video link from Thameside Prison, mainly stared at the floor as the details of the incident were read out. The 20-year-old, who had curly ginger hair and was wearing glasses, only showed emotion when Ms Oakley detailed the other offences he was being sentenced for.

They were assault occasioning actual bodily harm, an offence of strangulation, and an offence of threatening with an offensive weapon. Ms Oakley explained that these offences involved domestic violence against his former partner, Louise Cole, who he shares a daughter with.

She said: “The defendant told Ms Cole that he had cheated on her, and so she said she was going to leave him. The defendant then punched her in the face, slammed her head against the wall, bit her forehead, and repeatedly punched her to the abdomen and hip.

“He then strangled her to the point where she lost vision. Fearing for her life, she managed to bite him, and he let her go.

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“She proceeded to text her dad asking to pick her up, and texted a male friend called Alfie. But after seeing the messages, the defendant held a pair of scissors to her throat and threatened to kill her.”

In mitigation, Hopkins’ barrister Salma Lalani said: “He has been classified as a vulnerable defendant by psychiatrists. Due to the injuries he sustained to his brain in the accident, he cannot remember what happened in February 2023.

“He has ADHD, autism, and anxiety, and is very vulnerable to violence and exploitation from others. There have been occasions on which he has tried to kill himself.

“He feels ashamed about what he has done and wants to be a better person and a better parent. He wants to apologise to his former partner Ms Cole, and his daughter. He is aware that nothing can undo the harm he has done.”

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Hopkins’ mother watched from the public gallery throughout the proceedings. Sentencing Hopkins, Judge Freya Newbury told him: “You are 20 years old and will be 21 years old in just a couple days’ time.

“It falls upon me to sentence you for a number of very serious offences today, principally causing death by dangerous driving. That horrific incident occurred on February 19, 2023.

“There is a lot of evidence that you were driving at speed, and I have also seen the CCTV. You only had a provisional licence, which should not have allowed you to drive a powerful motorcycle.

“You ignored red traffic lights, you ignored the build-up of traffic on the road, you ignored the stationary vehicles, and you ignored the fact that pedestrians were crossing. You drove straight into them at high speed.

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“The scene was horrific. There were many onlookers, pedestrians and other drivers, who witnessed and heard the family struck and flung down the road by the force of the impact. Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, Mustafa was declared dead at the scene, and his father and brother were taken to hospital with severe injuries.

“This brief summary can of course not do justice to the extent of the family’s suffering. I also sentence you for domestic violence offences, which show high levels of culpability and high levels of harm.”

Discussing mitigation, Judge Newbury told Hopkins: “You have been deemed vulnerable and have faced threats from other prisoners. You have expressed remorse and have accepted that you must be punished for your actions.”

She then sentenced Hopkins to a total of 10 years and eight months in prison for the “driving offences” and to 16 months for the “domestic violence offences”.

“The total sentence is therefore 12 years,” Judge Newbury said. She also disqualified Hopkins from driving for a period of 10 years - after which point he will have to pass a special driving test.