Teenager Sentenced Over Leeds Crash

26 January 2018, 18:27

Crash Leeds

A 15-year-old boy has been jailed for causing the deaths of two men and three children when he ploughed a stolen car into a tree in Leeds.

Ellis Thornton-Kimmitt, 12, his brother, Elliott, 14, Darnell Harte, 15, Robbie Meerun, 24, and Anthony Armour, also 24, all died when the Renault Clio they were all travelling in crashed in Stonegate Road in Leeds.

The car had been reported stolen from a Wilko store in the Headingley area of Leeds, police previously told a coroner.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, previously pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court to five counts of causing death by dangerous driving following the crash in November.

The driver, who was the only survivor, was sentenced at the same court to four-and-a-half years' detention and was disqualified from driving for seven years and three months, a court official confirmed.

But the family of Mr Harte told reporters they were unhappy with the length of the sentence.

In an emotional interview outside court, the victim's sister Elise Dhers told Sky News: "We have to live with the sight of seeing my little brother through a window with his face smashed in.

"Four years is not long enough - four years is not even a year for a life. He will be out in two years' time."

His other sister Natasha Dhers added: "He knows full well what he's been doing and what he has done wrong and now he's trying to play the victim.

"In two years he is going to be out and we are going to have to see his face. We are going to have to look at him and not have to say anything because he has served justice.

"To me that's not justice because I'm never going to see my little brother again."

Police described the crash, which happened just before 10pm on Saturday November 25, as "catastrophic".

At the time, officers told reporters that emergency services had been confronted by "a scene of total carnage" when they arrived.

West Yorkshire Police Superintendent Lisa Atkinson said: "This was a truly horrendous incident that saw the lives of three children and two men cut tragically short.

"The 15-year-old boy who was at the wheel of the stolen car is starting a period in custody, but he also has to live with the deaths of those five people on his conscience for the rest of his life.

"No sentence can ever compensate the families of those who died but we hope the conclusion of the court process today will help them in some way.

"What this terrible incident so painfully illustrates is the appalling human consequences of dangerous driving.

"We hope it will serve as a very clear warning to others of how dangerous behaviour on the roads can bring a lifetime of irreparable heartache to so many people in such a short space of time."