Aya Hishmeh is accused of murdering a 17-year-old boy by running him down with her car. (Instagram: @ayahishmeh)
A Perth woman has described going into a state of shock and panic when she realised she had driven her car at speed into a group of teenagers, killing one of them.
- Aya Hishmeh drove her speeding car into a group of teenagers
- She is charged with murdering 17-year-old Jacob Cummins
- The incident happened after a fight between two rival groups of youths
Aya Hishmeh, 23, is accused of murdering 17-year-old Jacob Cummins and attempting to kill four other teenagers on a suburban street in Canning Vale in December 2017.
Giving evidence during her trial today, Ms Hishmeh broke down repeatedly and sobbed as she explained in detail the events of that day.
Members of her family and Mr Cummins’s family in the public gallery were also distressed and had to leave the courtroom to compose themselves during her testimony.
Prosecutors alleged Ms Hishmeh acted out of vengeance when her Nissan Skyline hit the teenagers, after finding out her brother and sister had been injured in fight between rival groups of youths earlier in the day.
But she has consistently maintained she never intended to kill or harm them and had lost control of her speeding car when it hit the kerb next to the boys on Eucalyptus Boulevard.
“I was in shock. I was scared, I didn’t know what was going on,” she told the jury today as she took the stand for the first time in her Supreme Court trial.
Hishmeh was angry on night of fight
Witnesses had earlier told the court they had repeatedly heard Ms Hishmeh say in the car park of a nearby McDonald’s restaurant that she was going to kill the boys, before getting in her car to look for them.
But answering questions from her lawyer, Tony Elliott, she said she did not believe she had said those words and if she did she “definitely” did not mean it.
At the time, Ms Hishmeh said she had learned her brother had been “mobbed” by a group of boys and her sister had been cut on the arm earlier that day.
She conceded she was very angry and upset at the time, and was yelling and swearing at the McDonald’s.
She also admitted putting one boy there in a headlock, but later apologised to him when she realised he was not involved.
Jacob Cummins died after he and a group of teenagers were hit by a car allegedly driven by Aya Hishmeh.
Police and ambulance officers later arrived at the McDonald’s and Ms Hishmeh had been asked to take her sister to the hospital.
But instead she took the keys to her car from her boyfriend and drove off in search of the boys, with him in the passenger seat.
Asked why she had decided to drive after the teenagers, she said it was because she had told a police officer who two of the boys were but he had laughed and turned away.
“[It was] because the police weren’t looking for the boys … I wanted to tell them to stay away,” she said.
‘I didn’t mean to, I didn’t mean to’
Ms Hishmeh told the court her boyfriend had intended to get out of the car when they found them, but she had told him not to.
“I just wanted to shout at them and tell them to stay away from my family,” she said.
Witnesses say they heard Aya Hishmeh say she wanted to kill the boys before the incident. (Instagram: @ayahishmeh)
She had accelerated when she spotted the boys but told the court it was never her intention to hit the group, but to stop by the kerb next to them.
“I was going to brake next to them,” she said.
She accepted she had been driving extremely recklessly, but could not remember at what speed she was travelling.
“I braked but I don’t know where,” she said, sobbing uncontrollably.
After her car hit the teenagers, she remembered looking at the closed eyes of one of the boys.
She turned to her boyfriend and said, “I didn’t mean to, I didn’t mean to”.
Ms Hishmeh said while she was very angry when she first heard about what had happened to her siblings, she was not as angry when she went after the boys in her car.
She denied wanting to kill them or harm them out of anger.
The trial continues.