Antonio Boparan, the heir to 2 Sisters Food Group, whose brands include Fox's Biscuits and Goodfella's could be facing a fresh charge of dangerous driving following the death of Cerys Edwards nine years after an accident he caused left her paralysed and brain damaged. Cerys died with her family present at the Birmingham Children's Hospital on Saturday just weeks before her tenth birthday.
Boparan, then 19 years old, was trying to overtake another vehicle while driving at 70 miles per hour on the wrong side of the road in a 30 miles per hour zone in November 2006 when he smashed into the Edwards' vehicle on Sutton Coldfield's Streetly Lane. The impact threw Cerys from her baby seat, breaking her spine. She was dependent on a ventilator and required round-the-clock care.
West Midlands police sources told the Telegraph that the case may be reviewed if a post mortem establishes a causal link between the original collision and Cerys's death. That could lead to fresh charges being brought against Boparan.
Had the little girl died immediately following the crash, Boparan would have faced a 14 year prison term. Instead, he served six months out of the 21-month-jail sentence handed down after being found guilty of the lesser charge of dangerous driving in April 2008.
A West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said: "Before the Crown Prosecution Service can review this matter, the police will need to provide a further file of evidence in relation to the tragic death of Cerys Edwards in order for us to consider making a charging decision on the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving."
Cerys's father, Gareth Edwards is calling for fresh charges to be brought against Boparan so he can "serve a proper sentence. He only served six months and Cerys lost her life. She was left on a ventilator after the crash, she caught a virus and that has killed her. She wouldn't have been in that position if it wasn't for the crash. He is scum. I will leave it to the police but I would like to see him face new charges. In my mind, that would be only right and proper," the father said.
Boparan set up the Boparan Charitable Trust with his mother Baljinder, 47, in 2009 to "improve the lives of children living in the UK with disability, life-limiting illness and extreme poverty." A spokesman for Boparan said in a statement: "Antonio remains deeply remorseful of his actions as a teenager nine years ago and their tragic consequences.
"No words can appropriately convey the extent of his sorrow and regret at hearing this terrible news today. He sends his heartfelt condolences to Cerys' family at this extremely difficult time," it adds.
Birmingham Mail reported in February this year that Boparan was involved in a bar brawl at Birmingham's Nuvo Bar, which left a man blinded in April last year. He was sentenced to 12 months jail in March this year after he pleaded guilty to violent disorder and inflicting actual bodily harm together with three others. One of the victims suffered a fractured eye socket and has since lost the use of his eye.