Report into Cookham Wood young Offenders Institution near Rochester
Teenager Jailed Over Fatal Crash
A teenage boy who crashed his car, killing one of his best friends, just a week after passing his driving test, has been sentenced to six months in prison and banned from driving for four years.
Lewis Farlow, who is now 18, of The Maltings, Walmer, admitted causing the death of Josh Hibbert, 17, by careless driving.
The incident happened at around 11 pm on Wednesday 12 October 2011 on Dover Road, near Deal. Farlow was driving a Ford Fiesta with three friends inside the car, when he lost control on a bend.
The Fiesta left the road and crashed into a field. Josh Hibbert, who had been sitting in the back of the car, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other three occupants of the car sustained minor injuries and were taken to the William Harvey Hospital.
Officers from Kent Police's Serious Collision Unit, led by Detective Sergeant Miles Bishop, attended and started an investigation into the incident. Farlow was arrested in connection with the offence and was subsequently charged with causing the death of Josh Hibbert by careless driving.
He pleaded guilty to the offence at Court but claimed that the crash was as a result of a momentary lapse in concentration. He did not accept that his driving involved 'showing off' or 'bravado'.
As a result a trial of issue (Newton Hearing) took place at Canterbury Crown Court in January 2013 to establish these facts.
The Court found that Mr Farlow had in fact been driving as alleged for some considerable time that evening and that his showing off and bravado had been a major factor in causing the crash.
Farlow had turned off the main A258 heading towards Whitfield in an attempt to get ahead of a slow moving lorry in front of his vehicle by driving along the Dover Road and trying to ?beat? the lorry to the next junction.
Lewis Farlow appeared at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday 1st February before Judge O'Sullivan and was sentenced to: six months in prison and banned from driving for four years.
Detective Sergeant Miles Bishop said: "This tragic incident has left a young man dead and another facing considerable time in prison and being banned from driving.
"This case has no winners, only people who have suffered anguish, hurt and trauma.
"This has been a difficult time for all involved, especially Josh?s family. I would personally like to thank them for their resilience and fortitude and for conducting themselves with dignity in the most trying of times.
"This has been a detailed and wide-ranging investigation that has shown that this crash was not as a result of a momentary lapse of concentration but of an extended period of showing off and bravado. I would like to thank the witnesses who assisted in the investigation and who gave evidence during the court hearing.
"The sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence and the fact that a life was lost due to the thoughtless and careless actions of a young driver. It underlines the need for all drivers, but especially those who are young and inexperienced, to consider the consequences of their actions when behind the wheel."
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