Teen jailed for killing five people in Leeds car crash

The 15-year-old boy crashed a stolen car into a tree, killing five passengers - three teens and two adults 

Clockwise from top left: Anthony Armour, Darnell Harte, Robbie Meerun, Elliot and Ellis Thornton-Kimmit were killed in the crash (Photo:BBC)
Clockwise from top left: Anthony Armour, Darnell Harte, Robbie Meerun, Elliot and Ellis Thornton-Kimmit were killed in the crash (Photo:BBC)

A 15-year-old boy who killed five passengers, including three children, when he crashed a stolen car into a tree has been jailed for four-and-a-half years, in Leeds, England.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, fled from the scene when the Renault Clio he was driving hit a tree, having reached speeds of 88mph, a court heard.

The car “split in two” and its five passengers were thrown into the road, suffering fatal injuries, on 25 November last year, Leeds crown court was told.

Elliott Thornton-Kimmitt, 14, and his brother Ellis,12, died in the crash along with Darnell Harte, 15, Anthony Armour and Robbie Meerun, both 24.

West Yorkshire Police said the Renault Clio they were travelling in had been stolen from the Headingley area of the city earlier the same day.

The boy admitted five counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

The boy was sentenced to four-and-a-half-years' detention and disqualified from driving for seven years and three months by Judge Peter Collier QC.

The judge said that the teenager would be eligible for reaease on licence after serving half the sentence.

Outside court, the sisters of Darnell Harte, a 15-year-old killed in the crash, claimed the sentence was “not justice”.

Crying as they spoke to reporters, one sister, who declined to be named, said: “In two years’ time he’s going to be out and we’re going to have to see his face and not say anything because he’s served justice in some people’s eyes – to me that’s not justice, because I’m never going to see my little brother ever again. He was the best brother you could ever have.”

The court heard eyewitnesses say the car was being driven erratically and on the wrong side of the road before it crashed.

The prosecutor said a passerby who had gone to the aid of the passengers described seeing the boy fleeing the scene despite being told to wait for police.

The judge said: "It was your driving of that car on that night which has caused all this pain and hurt.

"I know what happened that night will shape your life every day from now on.

"I do not think there will ever be a time of day when you will not remember what happened and regret what you did."

Speaking at the time of the crash, police said they had been confronted by a scene of "complete carnage".

Two of the passengers were pronounced dead at the site of the crash and three died a short time later in hospital.

After the hearing Supt Lisa Atkinson said: "To lose three children and two adults in such a significant incident is absolutely horrendous. Many, many people were affected by it.

"I was working the weekend that it happened and I can speak personally about how everyone was affected, the emergency services, the residents.

"It was truly horrendous, a vehicle travelling at three times the speed limit in a residential area. A 15-year-old boy is now starting a sentence and he will be affected by this for the rest of his life."