Victim’s mother in court blast at boyfriend jailed over death crash

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The mother of a 16-year-old girl killed in a crash caused by her “reckless, risk-taking, thrill-seeking” boyfriend, who was drunk and high on drugs, has condemned him as a “murderer” after he was jailed for eight years.

Lewis Young, 19, of no fixed abode but from Havant, Hampshire, was sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to causing the death by dangerous driving of Payton Sparks and causing serious injury by dangerous driving to a 14-year-old boy who was also in the car.

He also pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified, driving while uninsured and making off without paying for petrol.

Young was charged following the collision in May which happened when the Vauxhall Tigra he was driving came off the road and struck a building.

The court heard that Young – who had taken ketamine and mephedrone, and drunk half a three-litre bottle of strong cider – had taken his parents’ car to pick up Payton up from a party.

He then grabbed her and pulled her into the car after threatening to pull her by the hair if she refused, the court heard. The 14-year-old got into the car to protect her.

Young then drove at speeds of up to 80mph in a built-up area before filling the car up with petrol then driving off at speed without paying and without the lights on.

He then overtook two cars on two blind bends before losing control and crashing into a telegraph pole and a wall, killing Payton instantaneously. Judge Roger Hetherington said Young ignored the pleas and screams of the two young passengers to slow down.

Sentencing him to a total of eight years’ imprisonment, he said the crash was an inevitable consequence of his driving.

He said: “It is obvious to people who observed your driving throughout your journey that you were driving extremely dangerously at great speed and that a collision was almost inevitable.

“In a sense the word accident is a misnomer here as there was nothing accidental in what happened as it was almost bound to happen because of the way you were driving the car.”

The court heard that Young, who had never held a driving licence, had been convicted of several previous offences of driving while disqualified and without a licence.

Judge Hetherington said: “It was a pattern of reckless risk-taking, thrill-seeking behaviour and it was inevitable that a serious crash would one day result.”

As Young was taken down to the cells, Payton’s mother Lisa Garner shouted at him: “Go and hang yourself Louie, you’re a murderer, you killed my daughter.”