Two men jailed over fatal Derbyshire river van crash

Patrick Piggott
Image caption Patrick Piggott died when the van he was driving plunged into a river

Two men have been jailed over a crash in which a 14-year-old boy died.

The body of Patrick Piggott was found inside a van the day after it crashed into the River Derwent near Raynesway, Derbyshire, in July.

Paul Berridge, 26, and Leigh Walters, 19, earlier admitted being carried in a vehicle taken without consent which then led to Patrick Piggott's death.

Berridge, from Derby, was given two years and Walters, from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, was given 20 months.

Walters will serve his sentence at a young offenders' institution, Derby Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

The court was told how Patrick took the Ford Escort van from Spencer Street, Alvaston, and picked up his best friend Leigh Walters and then another friend Paul Berridge.

Image caption The judge said both men tried to cover up their wrongdoing

He drove the van at 40mph along the path next to the river but lost control and the vehicle plunged into the water.

A woman saw Walters and Berridge climb up the bank and out of the water but they failed to mention Patrick was still in the van. The next day the alarm was raised and his body was found.

Sentencing the pair, Judge Abbas Mithani QC said both men had acted in a "cowardly" manner in the hope of covering up their "wrongdoing".

Both men were also disqualified from driving for two years.

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