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Leeds Car Death Teen Driver's Sentence 'Not Justice'

A 15-year-old driver who crashed a stolen car, killing five people, has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in detention.

The youth, who cannot be named due to his age, had previously admitted five charges of causing death by dangerous driving after the car hit a tree in Leeds on 25 November.

Brothers Ellis Thornton-Kimmitt, 12, and Elliott Thornton-Kimmitt, 14, died in the crash, along with Darnell Harte, 15, Robbie Meerun, 24, and Anthony Armour, 24.

The victims had all been travelling in the same car, a black Renault Clio, for more than an hour before it hit the tree at 88mph in a 30mph zone, Leeds Crown Court heard.

The passengers were thrown from the vehicle.

Police described the crash as '"catastrophic", saying officers had been confronted by "a scene of total carnage" when they arrived at the scene.

Speaking after the sentencing, Sky News Correspondent Gerard Tubb said: "The court heard some harrowing details, including that the boy who was driving had tried to kick his way out of the passenger door but couldn't because there was a body lying outside the door holding it shut.

"He ran off and lied, trying to blame one of the younger boys, claiming that he (the younger boy) was driving.

"But the court heard that once he had a chance to sit and talk with his mum and dad, he came clean, admitted to what he had done."

Speaking outside court, the sisters of Darnell Harte said the teenager's sentence was not long enough.

Elise Dhers told Sky News: "We have to live with the sight of seeing my little brother through a window with his face smashed in.

"Four years is not even a year for each life."

Natasha Dhers added: "I understand (the driver) has to live with it but we have to live with never seeing (Darnell) again.

"(Once the driver is released) we're going to have to look at him and not have to say anything because he served justice in people's eyes.

"To me, that's not justice because I'm never going to see my little brother again."

The judge told the teenager he would be facing 13-and-a-half years in jail if he was an adult.

Tubb said the court was told the youth was "15 going on 10".

He said: "He had some significant problems with his health, he had missed a lot of school, he has hearing problems, speech and language problems.

"The judge told him, 'it was your actions, your driving of the car that has caused all this hurt and pain'... and 'I think your life will be affected by this forever'."

The boy will serve half of his sentence in detention and will then be eligible for release before starting a five-year driving ban.

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