AMAN who tried to cover his tracks after driving off from a hit-and-run accident which killed an 11-year-old boy is today behind bars.

Jason Tobola was over the speed limit in his uninsured car when he hit Theo Hixon-Denton and then drove off, leaving him dying in the road from injuries .

Instead of stopping to help he drove less than half a mile to the home he shared with his father and set about trying to repair the dent to his bonnet.

Today Tobola, 20, from Bracklesham Close, Southampton, is starting a 20-month jail term after admitting perverting the course of justice, leaving the scene of an accident, driving uninsured and without tax and driving dangerously as he left the scene.

Southampton Crown Court heard that within an hour of the crash on Sholing Road on November 23 last year, Tobola was searching the Internet for replacement parts and had spoken to a windscreen repair centre about fixing his car.

In text messages that night he told friends how his car had been "battered by chavs" who had thrown a brick at it, before eating pizza and going to sleep.

But it was concerned neighbours, who had seen Tobola return home in his red Peugeot with no lights on and with steam coming from the car, who called police after hearing that a youngster had died.

He was arrested at 3am the following morning and during police interview admitted what he had done, saying "I never meant to do it, I was scared" before reverting to his old story about the brick.

Simon Edwards, prosecuting, told the court how Tobola made "a callous and concerted effort to evade detection" and how accident investigators at the scene could find no evidence of brake marks on the road.

It's like a bomb has exploded among us - read the family's reaction here

It wasn't the first time he had driven without insurance, having lost his licence for the same offence in April 2007.

The court was told how a painstaking police investigation got under way before Tobola was charged in April this year.

Daniel Reilly, defending, said Tobola had talked of suicide and described him as someone who "shows incredible and obvious sorrow, regret and remorse".

He added: "What has been central to him each and every day since this incident is the family of Theo Hixon-Denton" and spoke of how during interview Tobola had told police "I wish I had stopped because I might have been able to save him or something".

Mr Reilly told the court how Tobola had confined himself inside his mother's home until February this year, didn't speak to his closest friends and felt he couldn't go to work for fear of what others may think.

Jailing him for 20 months and disqualifying Tobola from driving for two years, Judge Peter Ralls QC, said: "You tried to cover up and cover your tracks.

You were taking steps to see if you could carry out repairs on the bodywork of your car so that nobody would know what you had done. It's not just a cowardly thing to drive away, but it also caused, far greater grief and sorrow and worry for the parents and those that were close to this young boy."

  • See today's Daily Echo for the full story