Bystander JP, at The Magistrate’s Blog, reproduces without comment the sentencing remarks by His Honour Judge Radford at Snaresbrook Crown Court in the case of R v Davina Smith. Ms Smith fell to be sentenced for Causing Death by Careless Driving, when unfit through Drugs and for Aggravated Vehicle Taking, and very grim reading the sentencing remarks are, too.
Driving a stolen car while high on amphetamines, Ms Smith crashed the vehicle, killing her two daughters, aged 4 and 8, and two sixteen-year-olds who were also in the car. Quite why they didn’t, on the facts, go for Death by Dangerous Driving I don’t know, but I don’t know if it made a great deal of difference.
Nine years concurrently for each of the Causing Death by Careless Driving, five years concurrent for the aggravated vehicle taking. The 348 days she’s served on remand to count towards the sentence.
In the comments, someone wonders how it would be reported by one of the red-tops, and someone called Nerd for Justice obliges in a horribly accurate 200 word tabloid summary, even to the point of getting the judge’s title wrong:
An UNLICENSED driver who killed FOUR children while high on DRUGS, then LIED to police about it, could walk free in as little as THREE AND A HALF years.
Davina Smith, 31, of Tibury, Essex, took amphetamines- better known as Speed- and then drove off at speeds of up to 50mph- in a STOLEN car. With her were with 16 year olds Lee Gray and Kezia Adger, and her own two children Kalli (four) and Karris (eight). There were no booster or child seats in the car, and none of the children wore seat belts.
When traffic ahead of her slowed down, Smith SWERVED across the road, half-SPUN and came to a stop. A car driven by an INNOCENT driver then SLAMMED into the car Smith was driving, KILLING all four children.
When quizzed by police, Smith and her lawyer tried to blame Lee Gray, saying that HE had been driving.
Mr Justice Radford, sitting at Snaresbrook Crown Court, found that the accident was caused by Smith’s drug-taking.
Yet, incredibly, he REFUSED to pass an indeterminate sentence for public protection, and handed down a sentence that means she could leave jail in just over THREE AND A HALF YEARS.