A Zimbabwean man has appeared in court to deny neglecting his three children after a car crash in Bradford.
Blyth Mkonya, 35, of Woodsley Fold, Thornton, pleaded not guilty to three charges of neglect when he appeared at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court.
The charges relate to a car crash that happened on Leeds Road, Bradford, at about 12.15am on Monday. The court heard that the three youngsters involved were Mkonya’s children, aged 12 years, five years, and nine months.
Prosecutor Dan Penman said: “It was a single incident of short-term neglect.”
Mkonya also denied a charge of causing an accident, damaging another vehicle, and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.
He also denied charges of driving without insurance and driving while disqualified.
Mkonya pleaded guilty to failing to provide a breath specimen for analysis. Mr Penman said that Mkonya told police after his arrest that someone else was driving the car.
Shazad Dad, defending, said CCTV from businesses near the scene of the crash would prove whether or not Mkonya was driving.
Mr Dad added that the neglect charges were “questionable”.
“His only sin is he may not have co-operated with the police,” said Mr Dad. “Which he may believe he had good reason to do so.”
Firefighters from Bradford station were on their way back to base from another incident when they came across the crash, which involved a Nissan Qashqai and a parked Mercedes Sprinter van.
Crews treated the three children for minor injuries before they were taken to hospital by ambulance.
Mkonya, who appeared in the dock wearing a red jacket, a light grey top and light grey jogging bottoms, works at a warehouse in Halifax and studies part-time at university in Sheffield, the court heard.
He will stand trial on May 22 at the magistrates’ court. Mkonya was released on conditional bail to reside at Woodsley Fold in Thornton, and to adhere to a 7pm to 7am curfew. The Telegraph and Argus.co.uk