A FOURTEEN-year-old boy who was driving a car in which two men drowned in a ditch will not be allowed to drive until he is 20. The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted to Huntingdon magistrates that he had driven carelessly and without ins
A FOURTEEN-year-old boy who was driving a car in which two men drowned in a ditch will not be allowed to drive until he is 20.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted to Huntingdon magistrates that he had driven carelessly and without insurance or a licence.
The town's youth court also sentenced him to a 12-month referral order - a community penalty for a first-time offender - with the youth justice service and ordered his mother to contribute £35 towards prosecution costs.
The dead men, Robert (Bob) Hunt, aged 22 from Sawtry, and James Aylesbury, 21, from Stilton, had been passengers in the BMW that they had allowed the boy to drive in narrow lanes in Holme Fen on May 7, the
May Day Bank Holiday.
Mr Hunt, who was in the front passenger seat, tried to correct a steering error by the driver, but the car went out of control and landed upside down, partly submerged in the ditch, John Goodier, prosecuting, told the court. The boy, from Yaxley, was rescued, but the two men drowned.
A police vehicle examiner could find no fault with the car that would have caused the accident, Mr Goodier added.
The single track road was "a typical fenland drove, uneven with a number of undulations". It had been the corrective steering that had led to the accident, the court heard.
Mr Aylesbury had bought the car from Mr Hunt just two days previously, Mr Goodier said.
Glenys West, James Aylesbury's mother, who lives in Swindon, said in a statement read to the court: "Our family has now come to the end of an era. He should have known better than to let a 14-year-old take control of a killing machine."
Bob Hunt's mother, Cindy, said: "One day I had five children. The next I had four.
"Bob wanted to work abroad as an electrician and to have a wife and kids. My other son Billy has changed. He has lost all his energy and spends his weekends in the churchyard talking to Bob."
She complained that the 14-year-old's behaviour at her son's funeral had been inappropriate and that he had showed no remorse, a claim that was challenged by defending solicitor Hugh Cauthery.
"What started out as something that may have seemed to a young man of 14 as a minor deviation from the law ended in devastating consequences," he said. "From the start he demonstrated his immediate remorse and his immediate thoughts were that he should have died with them."
Mr Cauthery said the boy had driven for no more than a mile and put the BMW's speed at no more than 50mph.
"But those of us who drive regularly on fen roads know they can change like the weather. It appears that's what happened on this occasion.
"It was obviously an act of extreme stupidity, but the two men in their 20s were in part responsible for what happened. Had they survived, they would almost certainly have faced offences, but [my client] does not want me to pass the blame elsewhere.
"The penalty that can be imposed by this court is limited compared with the penalty he will suffer in his own mind.