A CATASTROPHIC crash that caused the death of 16-year-old Jasmine Elkasmi from Rose Green saw a driver jailed today (July 21).
Harry Smith, 18, from Haleybridge Walk, Tangmere (pictured below), was jailed for four-years for causing death by dangerous driving.
Chichester Crown Court heard Smith was driving well over the speed limit on the A285 at Halnaker when he lost control and crashed, instantly killing Jasmine, who was sitting behind him.
Despite only passing his test in July, 2013, he had already received two police warnings for his driving. One of the warnings was just hours before he caused the death of Jasmine on September 21, 2013.
“That death and those injuries are the unwarranted consequence of your terrible foolishness in the face of not one, but two warnings,” said sentencing judge Christopher Parker QC.
The crash happened at 6.45am in the morning, after Smith had spent hours driving and was likely to be suffering from fatigue, the court heard.
Traces of tetrahydrocannabinol, the main ingredient in cannabis, were found in his blood, although not enough to conclude he was under the influence at the time of the crash.
He also had a small amount of alcohol in his blood, but again no where near the legal limit.
Smith also received a two-year sentence and an 18-month sentence for causing serious injury by dangerous driving to two other teenagers in the car, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Smith’s three sentences will run concurrently, meaning he will serve a four-year prison term, but will be let out on licence after serving half, in two years time.
Speaking after the hearing, Sergeant Paul Wood, of the Arundel road policing unit, said: “Smith was 17 at the time of the collision and he had only held his driving licence for about seven weeks.
“He had been stopped by police before the collision on a number of occasions due to the manner of his driving and he had been issued with a section 59 warning, which meant that if he had been stopped again, his vehicle would have been seized.
“A girl died as a result of his dangerous driving and two other girls were left with serious injuries, one of them life-changing.”
See Thursday’s Chichester Observer and Bognor Regis Observer for more details from the sentencing, including a victim impact statement from Jasmine’s mum that was read out in court.