Leeds Stonegate Road crash: What will happen next?

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It could be months before we know the full story of what happened on Stonegate Road on Saturday night.

Police are still gathering evidence at the scene of the crash which killed three boys and two men in Meanwood over the weekend. Here is what is likely to happen in the coming weeks:-

Formal identification

Police are likely to formally identify the five victims this week, although they have already been named locally. This means they will confirm their full names, ages and addresses. At this point, their families may choose to release tribute statements to the media via police liaison officers.

A court case?

Police must now decide whether they have enough evidence to charge the two 15-year-old boys they have arrested with any offence. However, it may be difficult to prove who was driving at the time of the crash.

If the case goes to court, it can take several months before a trial begins. As the boys are under the age of 18, they cannot legally be named at any stage of the court proceedings, although the trial can still be covered by the media.

If convicted and sentenced, journalists can then apply to the judge to have the anonymity lifted - this happened in the case of Will Cornick, the Leeds schoolboy who murdered teacher Ann Maguire in 2014. The media must prove there is a strong public interest in naming the juvenile.

The inquest

A full inquest will be held into the deaths, presided over by a coroner. Inquests do not apportion blame or guilt; they are there to determine the cause of death, establish the events leading up to the crash and offer guidance on how to prevent future accidents.

In a typical road collision inquest, police crash investigators will provide evidence on matters such as blood alcohol readings, weather conditions and mechanical defects, and establish what speed the car was travelling at before the impact. Journalists are allowed to cover inquests and can usually report what is said without restrictions.

It can be several months before an inquest is held if a police investigation is complex.

Dennis Nilsen. PIC: PA

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