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29 July 2014, 15:11
A driver who crashed his car, killing a passenger and then left the scene has been jailed for 15-months.
Tobbie Coleman, 23, from Ottawa Way, Dover appeared before Canterbury Crown Court today after being found guilty of causing death by careless driving.
In the early hours of Saturday, 17 August, 2013 a blue Vauxhall Corsa was being driven by Coleman, along the Sandwich Road, Waldershare.
He was unlicensed, uninsured and carrying three other passengers, one of who was 23 year old Emma Willis. This car was in convoy with two other vehicles, a green Corsa driven by Ryan Rodmell, also uninsured and unlicensed and a red Corsa being driven by Charlie Morgan again without insurance. Damien Lee was in the green Corsa and Galina Dodd was in the red Corsa.
At some point along the Sandwich Road, Coleman lost control of his car and crashed into a field. Emma Willis died at the scene of the collision another male was seriously injured. Coleman, Morgan, Lee, Rodmell and Dodd all left the scene before Police arrived, leaving Emma and the injured male in the blue Corsa. On Police arrival Lee and Morgan were found nearby and arrested.
Over the course of the next 24 hours all the other defendants were arrested by officers from Kent Police?s Serious Investigation Unit and prosecuted.
Ryan Rodmell was convicted of no insurance, no driving licence and sentenced by Channel Mags on 27 February 2014 to 12 months disqualified from driving and fined £515.
Damien Lee was convicted of obstructing a constable and sentenced by Channel Mags on 2 April 2014 to 21 days imprisonment (suspended for 12 months), 250 hours unpaid work, £165 costs.
Charlie Morgan was convicted of obstructing a constable, permitting no insurance & no insurance and sentenced by Channel Mags on 7 April 2014 to 21 days imprisonment (suspended for 12 months), 250 hours unpaid work, £100 fine, £80 victim surcharge & disqualified from driving for 2 years.
Galina Dodd was convicted of obstructing a constable by Channel Mags on 2 May 2014 sent to prison for 18 days.
Detective Sergeant Scott Lynch from Kent Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: "This investigation into Emma's death was initially hampered by the selfish and unlawful actions of her associates that night and caused her family and loved ones immense heartache.
It was a tragic loss of life that serves to remind all young people, the consequences of travelling in cars with unqualified drivers at the wheel."
Emma's mother Amanda Hawkins paid tribute to her daughter: "When Emma was young, she used to follow us around, she had a great sense of humour even when she was little, and often tried to make you laugh. We were a very close family. Emma loved football from a young age. She did silly things, played practical jokes and was more like a friend. The most sacred thing in the world is someone's child. We miss her every second of every day."