Police praise 'dignity' of family after relative was killed in Edinburgh hit-and-run

A police officer at the lead of a fatal hit-and-run investigation has paid tribute to the victim's relatives.

Wednesday, 14th August 2019, 5:02 pm
Nicolas Simenya, brother of the late Lionel Simenya, speaking at a press conference following his death with Detective Inspector Stuart Alexander. Picture: Lisa Ferguson/TSPL

Chef Lionel Simenya, 36, died after being found on Ford’s Road in the Saughton area of the city at around 3.50am on March 7.

Today, Declan Mayes, 21, was jailed for five years and three months for the incident which saw him lose control of a stolen Peugeot 207 before colliding with Mr Simenya, originally from Burundi.

Detective Inspector Stuart Alexander, from the Major Investigation Team said: "The actions of Declan Mayes while being behind the wheel of a vehicle caused the death of Lionel Simenya and robbed a family of their son, brother and uncle.

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Nicolas Simenya, brother of the late Lionel Simenya, speaking at a press conference following his death with Detective Inspector Stuart Alexander. Picture: Lisa Ferguson/TSPL

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"This was a complex investigation, which involved collaboration between the MIT, Road Policing and local officers in Edinburgh, to establish how Lionel sustained his injuries and thereafter bring those responsible to justice.

"I am grateful to all of those who worked on this inquiry, including agencies who assisted us in communicating with Lionel's family in both Burundi and Belgium.

"I'd also like to thanks the Simenya family for their continued support of our investigation and the dignity they have conducted themselves with, during an extremely distressing period of their lives.

The late Lionel Simenya. Picture: Contributed

"My hope is that, now sentence has been passed, they can begin to move on with their lives."

Unemployed Mayes had previous convictions for vehicle theft, housebreaking, assault and driving while banned.

A judge told Mayes at the High Court in Edinburgh that victim impact statements provided from Mr Simenya's family were heartbreaking.