POLICE have issued CCTV footage showing driver Jon-Paul Caruana speeding just moments before hitting and killing eight-year-old Emily Connor as she crossed the road on the way to see Christmas lights.

Caruana, aged 25, of Lawndale Avenue, Worsley, had denied he was rushing after being late for work on the morning of November 10 2018.

But as he was jailed today for three years and four months after admitting causing death by dangerous driving police released this shocking footage proving he was driving at speeds of more than 50mph moments before Emily was struck as she and her grandmother crossed Monton Road to get to a bus stop.

Caruana was driving to his work at Salford Quays in his blue Vauxhall Corsa with his partner and their four-month-old child.

He was rushing to pick up a colleague to travel to work with after initially having to return home because he had forgotten his security fob.

Witnesses described Caruana’s driving before the collision and how he appeared to be increasingly agitated due to factors slowing down his journey such as temporary traffic lights and queues of traffic.

Emily, who lived in Chesterfield and was visiting her grandparents for the weekend, was crossing Monton Road while holding her grandmother’s hand to get to the bus stop to travel to the Trafford Centre, where they were planning to go shopping for the day.

Caruana was seen seconds later driving down the road at speeds of 50mph and sounding his car horn before Emily broke free of her grandmother’s hand in an attempt to get to safety.

Emily was unable to avoid the car and, despite the best efforts of emergency services, died at the scene.

Caruana was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and was questioned by officers, where he repeatedly stated over the course of three interviews that he did not exceed over 30mph before the incident occurred.

Due to detailed forensic collision work as well as CCTV and phone analysis, the investigating team were able to uncover the extent of Caruana’s dangerous driving that day.

This included dash cam and CCTV footage of him travelling at speed in the moments preceding the collision as well as a Whatsapp message sent from Caruana’s partner to the work colleague referring to how he was ‘breaking speed barriers’ in an attempt to pick him up on time.

As well as the jail sentence, Caruana was banned from driving for four years and eight months.

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Following the hearing Sgt Lee Westhead, of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “The patience and dignity shown by Emily’s family throughout this investigation has been inspiring. This was a long and complex investigation into a sustained period of dangerous driving over some distance.

“Ultimately, faced with the overwhelming evidence gathered against him, Caruana had to abandon his lies and face up to the enormity of what he had done – all because he was a few minutes late.

"He treated other road users with contempt and his flagrant disregard for the rules of the road resulted in an unimaginable tragedy.

“I hope that Emily’s family take some comfort from today’s sentencing and I send them my sincere condolences and best wishes for the future as they continue to rebuild their lives.

“Drivers need to take heed of today’s case; nothing was worth the loss of the life of a wonderful little girl. We share our roads with vulnerable road users – treat each other with respect.”

Emily’s family were present at the sentencing hearing and released the following statement: “The family and friends of our daughter, Emily, would like to take this opportunity to firstly thank everyone who came forward in assisting the police with their investigation.

“We would like to especially thank those who stayed with Emily at the scene. It gave us great comfort knowing you were with her.

“Emily’s brothers and ourselves have somehow got to try to move forward, without our beautiful girl. We hope to live in a way Emily would have wanted us to - with grace and compassion.”