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Hayes triple teenage death crash driver pleads guilty

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image captionGeorge Wilkinson, Harry Rice and Josh McGuinness were killed on their way to a five-aside football centre

A driver has admitted killing three teenage boys he hit at more than 70mph as they walked to a birthday party.

Jaynesh Chudasama, who was drunk, lost control of his car as he overtook another vehicle, sending the victims flying into the air in the crash.

Harry Rice, 17, and 16-year-olds George Wilkinson and Josh McGuinness, died instantly, the Old Bailey heard.

Chudasama, 28, admitted three counts of causing death by dangerous driving after the crash in Hayes, west London.

The defendant, of Hayes, had traces of cannabis in his system when he ploughed into the victims in Shepiston Lane, on 26 January.

Josh was struck with such force he was thrown over a fence and into a cemetery, the court was told.

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Harry was carried on the bonnet of the car until it crashed into the cemetery wall, and a girl held George's hand as he lay half in the road and half on the pavement.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said it was estimated Chudasama was more than two-and-a-half times the legal drink-drive limit when his Audi mounted the pavement at about 20:40 GMT.

"In the course of over-taking another vehicle, the defendant lost control of his car," Mr Aylett said.

"The vehicle struck and fatally injured three boys who were walking along the pavement."

image copyrightTony Kitchin
image captionChudasama was more than two-and-a-half times the legal drink-drive limit when he crashed the Audi, the court heard

Eight hours after the crash the defendant had 79 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood - one milligram below the legal limit.

His level at the time of the crash was therefore estimated at 213 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, the court heard.

After hitting the victims Chudasama and his passenger got out of the car and ran away, the court heard.

They were pursued by two boys, who dragged the driver back to where their friends lay dead.

One of them later admitted he had struck Chudasama over the head with a bottle to stop him getting away.

image copyrightMetropolitan Police
image captionJaynesh Chudasama had alcohol and cannabis in his system when he crashed, the court heard

When police arrived and an officer went over to help the defendant, some of the group asked why he was helping the man who had just killed the teenagers.

The victims, who have been described as "incredible" and popular by their friends and families, were among a group of friends walking towards the Goals five-a-side football club for the 16th birthday party.

'Ripped us apart'

Harry's father Ian Rice said seeing the defendant in court today was "very traumatic" and he was disappointed with the guilty plea.

"We're not very happy, we would have preferred it going to a trial, because at this rate, having pleaded guilty, he can get a third off his sentence. We don't feel that is sufficient," Mr Rice said.

Tracy Blackwell, Josh's mother, said: "I couldn't put it into words how we feel. [It's] ripped us apart, it's affected everyone, not just us - hundreds of friends, because that's how nice the boys were."

Sarah Baker, George's mother, added that the boys were all "well behaved" and "cheeky", and that she was "devastated" to lose them.

image captionHarry's father Ian Rice, George's mother Sarah Baker, and Josh's mother Tracy Blackwell paid tribute to the boys outside court today

The boys were all pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, at about 20:40 GMT.

An accident investigator established Chudasama, a car rental firm employee, had been driving at 71mph on a road with a 60mph speed limit, the court heard.

Judge Wendy Joseph said speed limits "were not figures to be aimed at".

image copyrightPA
image captionA crowd gathered on Shepiston Lane to pay tribute to the boys

Judge Joseph said five other children's lives had been put at risk when Chudasama lost control of the car.

Chudasama is due to be sentenced on 9 March. The maximum jail term for causing death by dangerous driving is 14 years.

Mr Rice, Ms Baker and Ms Blackwell all said they wanted to see the defendant be handed three life sentences.

Mr Rice said: "We've got three boys - it should be three, consecutive life sentences."

Last year the government announced plans to give life sentences to killer drivers.

The victims were old school friends at Harefield Academy in Uxbridge and funerals for two of the boys had yet to take place, the court heard.

George had gone on to become an apprentice electrician, Josh was a labourer and Harry a semi-professional footballer.

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