Speeding teen jailed for Romford crash that killed two Havering College students and brain damaged boy, 15
- Credit: Archant
A teenage speeder who killed two of his passengers and left a third with permanent brain damage has been jailed for four and a half years.
Joseph Andrews, of Norbury Gardens, Chadwell Heath, must serve at least half his sentence behind bars.
Andrews, 19, pleaded guilty to causing the deaths of Havering College students Harry Wood and Gregg Mint, both 17, by dangerous driving, and causing grievous bodily harm to Theo Cox, then 15, whose injuries have left him unable to speak.
He was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on Wednesday.
Judge David Owen-Jones found Andrews was engaging in “competitive driving” with motorcyclist Jack Cox as he approached a mini-roundabout on Crow Lane, Romford, where the crash happened.
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“Had you been concentrating on the road and not trying to outdo Jack Cox, you would have seen the roundabout sooner and reacted more appropriately, and the collision may not have occurred,” the judge told him.
“Two young men in the prime of life with everything to live for died, and Theo Cox’s life is so transformed he cannot speak, but merely blink in response. He needs 24-hour care.”
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On May 21 last year, Andrews was driving Harry, Gregg, Theo and a teenage girl in a silver Renault Clio.
Just before 8pm he approached the roundabout, near Sandgate Close, at about 53mph – despite the 30mph speed limit.
He lost control and the car barrel-rolled in the air before demolishing a lamppost and landing on its roof.
Paramedics pronounced Harry and Gregg dead at the scene with severe head injuries. Both had been wearing seatbelts.
Judge Owen-Jones rejected the defence case that Andrews, who passed his driving test six months before the accident, had accelerated to ensure a safe distance between the car and motorbike.
The crime was aggravated, he added, by the fact Andrews had a fully-laden car, was speeding, and had allowed himself to become grossly, avoidably distracted by the motorbike.
Mitigating, Thomas Allen said Andrews had shown remorse, had been driving sensibly for the majority of the journey, and had known his victims.
After the sentence was passed, there were angry scenes in the court, with Harry and Gregg’s families being escorted from the room after shouting at Andrews’s supporters. Andrews himself spoke only to confirm his name.