Teenager sent to custody over Leeds Stonegate Road horror crash

PIC: PA
PIC: PA

A FIFTEEN year old boy caused the deaths of three children and two men in a horror crash in Leeds in a car which was stolen because his did not have the bus fare to get home, a court heard.

The teenager, who cannot be identified, was sentenced to four and a half years in custody today over the incident on Stonegate Road, Meanwood, on November 25 last year.

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Ellis Thornton-Kimmitt, 12, Elliott Thornton-Kimmitt, 14, Darnell Harte, 15, Robbie Meerun and Anthony Armour, both 24, were killed when the stolen Renault Clio crashed into a tree.

A court heard the vehicle had been stolen earlier in the day after the defendant and two of his friends walked home as they did not have enough bus fare.

Leeds Crown Court heard the teenager was driving at almost three times the speed limit when it hit a tree and “split in two”.

Passengers were thrown from the car during the collision but the teenager was helped from the wreckage by members of the public before fleeing the scene.

Patrick Palmer, prosecuting, said witnesses had reported the vehicle reaching speeds of more than 80mph before the collision and being driven through red lights.

The teenager was arrested after the collision and initially denied being the driver, blaming one of the passengers for causing the crash.

The youngster later pleaded guilty to five offences of causing death by dangerous driving.

The defendant’s barrister, Phillip Morris, told the court he admitted causing the offences after speaking with his mother and father.

Mr Morris said the teenager had lost three of his best friends in the incident.

He described how one of the boys, Darnell Harte, had slept at the defendant’s home the previous evening after they had been ice skating together in Bradford.

Mr Morris said: “There is not a day that passes when he does not think about the accident and the impact, not only on his friend, but their family members.”

He told the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier, QC, “Whatever sentence My Lord chooses to pass, and for whatever duration, compared to the longevity of the process of coming to terms with what he has done, the sentence would pale in to insignificance.

“He is 15 and he accepts the responsibility for the death of five people.

“It is a significant burden he is going to have to bear on very young shoulders, for a very long time.

The youngster was told by the judge who sentenced him: “It was your actions and the driving of that car that has caused all that hurt and pain on top of the fact that you killed five people.

“You will have to live with this for every day of your life’”

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