Drink driver jailed for killing girl returning from birthday party

|News, Driving offences

A man who drank nine pints of lager and took cocaine before crashing into a group of schoolchildren, killing a 16-year-old girl, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for causing death by dangerous driving and given a nine year driving ban.

At the Old Bailey today, Stuart Abbs, 39, also pleaded guilty to three charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving in the crash which took place at around 1.20am on 2 July last year in Croydon, south London.

Abbs was estimated to have been driving at more than 55mph on a road subject to a 30mph speed limit, and in the middle of the road, before his Audi struck a group walking back from a 16th birthday party.

The road had no footpaths and the children were walking in the road on the opposite side to oncoming vehicles. Abbs braked hard, hit the pedestrians and a parked car.

Nicole Davis, 16, died at the scene. Six other teenagers were injured, three seriously.

Abbs fled the scene before the police arrived but handed himself in later that morning, meaning that precise alcohol and drug readings could not be taken. His blood was, however, found on the drivers airbag while CCTV showed that he had been to three pubs on the night of the crash. He also admitted to taking cocaine.

Sally-Anne Russell, of the CPS, said: “Stuart Abbs killed one teenager and caused serious injuries to others as a result of his dangerous driving.

“If he had been driving at the speed limit he would have had more time to brake and avoid any casualties.
 
“Furthermore, only 20 minutes before this crash, the prosecution was able to show CCTV of Abbs drinking heavily in nearby pubs.  He also admitted to police he had taken cocaine.

“Our thoughts are with the families and friends of Nicole Davis, and the other injured children, at this time.”

Notes to editors

  • Stuart Abbs (dob 11/09/1978) plead guilty to:
    • one count of causing death by dangerous driving – 10 year prison sentence
    • three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving – four year prison sentence for each count to run concurrently with each other and concurrently with the other count
  • Sally-Anne Russell is a senior crown prosecutor in CPS London North.

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