Hit-and-run driver who killed 'loving' Northampton father granted day release from prison just two months after sentencing

A Northampton family say they have been 'kicked in the teeth' by news the driver who killed their son in a hit-and-run will be allowed to come and go from prison on day release.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 1:41 pm
Mohammed Rahman hit Stephen Swann at 50mph on Wellingborough Road before driving off without stopping.

Stephen Swann was crossing Wellingborough Road on a night out with his friends in May 2018 when he was hit by a speeding Vauxhall Corsa.

Despite the best efforts of two of his close friends and a doctor who witnessed the collision, and the emergency services, the father-of-one died at the scene having been "thrown into the air".

The driver that night was 20-year-old Mohammed Rahman, of St James Park Road. And instead of stopping to help at hitting Stephen at 50mph in a 30-zone, he drove off and abandoned the car half-a-mile away.

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Stephen died at the scene - while half-a-mile away, Rahman tried to destroy evidence by taking off his car's licence plates.

He then wiped down the damaged Corsa and removed the number plates in a bid to destroy evidence.

When Rahman was arrested, he was initially charged with dangerous driving - but this was later reduced the lesser charge of careless driving, to which he pleaded guilty.

In September this year, Rahman was jailed for 26 months - a sentence that Stephen's family called "wasn't justice" But now, Stephen's grieving family have been told their son's killer will soon be walking Northampton's streets again - as he has been transferred to a low-risk prison that lets him leave jail on day releases when he pleases.

"It's a kick in the teeth," says Stephen's brother Darrell Swann. "It's just disgusting.

The 'loving and doting' father of one was killed on a night out with friends.

"Last week would have been Stephen's 41st birthday. It's still hard to think about.

"Then we get this letter saying the driver is getting temporary release. We're trying to gear up to try and get through Christmas and now we've learned this."

Rahman is bring transferred to what is known as 'Category D prison' - a type of jail where eligible prisoners are able to spend most of their day away from the prison on licence to carry out work, education or for other resettlement purposes.

It means, just two months after he was sentenced for killing Stephen, Rahman will effectively be granted day release from prison and could progress to overnight leave.

Stephen's family say the news Rahman has been granted day release is a "kick in the teeth".

Darrell and his family were told what was happening through a letter by the probation service earlier this week.

The letter from a Ministry of Justice victim liaison officer reads: "I appreciate that you will be extremely disappointed with this news... I have made the probation officer aware of the anguish this will cause you as a family, not only the move to open condition, but the impact of temporary release."

Darrell says he and his family will now appeal to the Attorney General for the decision to be reversed.

The conditions of Rahman's day releases would mean he is not allowed to enter Kings Heath, Delapre, Links View or Northampton town centre.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “We understand the distress that a move to open prison can cause victims, but it is an important part of rehabilitation which helps to prevent reoffending.

“All such offenders are carefully risk assessed and face return to closed prison if they do not obey strict conditions.”