Hit and run driver jailed for the death of two young brothers

|News, Driving offences

A disqualified and uninsured driver who was nine times over the drug-drive limit has been jailed for nine years for killing two young brothers as they crossed the road with their family.

Robert Brown was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court on Friday, 27 April, after he pleaded guilty to driving offences at an earlier hearing.

Police were called to a hit-and-run incident on 22 February 2018 which happened on Longfellow Road in Coventry.

Emergency services arrived at the collision site where they found six-year-old Corey Platt-May with serious injuries. He was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he died from his injuries. His two-year-old brother Casper was treated at the roadside but he passed away at the scene.

Some 40 metres from the initial impact, the Ford Focus, which had been driven by Brown, 53, came to a halt and the driver and his 42-year-old passenger, Gwendoline Harrison, tried to make their escape.

A member of the public tried to detain Brown a number of times, but was attacked by Harrison. The couple were eventually arrested by police officers a few streets away from the collision.

Tests later revealed Brown to have exceeded the legal threshold for commencing prosecutions for driving with the presence of cocaine in his system by more than nine times.

Brown pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving as well as driving whilst disqualified. He was banned from driving for 15 years.

Harrison pleaded guilty to assault with intent and sentenced to six months' imprisonment.

Douglas Marshall, from the CPS, said: “This was a most appalling and tragic case that resulted in the deaths of two young brothers.

“Fully aware that he held no valid driving licence or car insurance, the defendant drove a vehicle in a built up residential area whilst under the influence of cocaine and at double the 30mph speed limit.

“As he drove at speed along Longfellow Road, a family were crossing the road and heading to the park to enjoy their half-term school break. Casper Platt-May was in his push-along car and his elder brother Cory was next to him.

“Brown’s Ford Focus collided with the brothers in the middle of the road and then failed to stop. He continued with his journey in his damaged car which he later abandoned.  Robert Brown and Gwendoline Harrison have shown no remorse for their actions. 

“Our thoughts  and deepest condolences are today with the family and friends of Casper and Cory.”

Notes to editors

  • Robert Brown (D.o.B. 05/05/1964) pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, contrary to section one of the road traffic act 1988 and one count of driving whilst disqualified contrary to section 103 of the road traffic act 1988
  • Gwendoline Harrison (D.o.B. 26/03/1976) pleaded guilty to one count of assault with intent, contrary to section 38 of the offences against the person act 1861
  • Douglas Marshall is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service.

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