West Sussex: Teen Motorist Jailed

A newly-qualified motorist whose dangerous driving left one of his teenage passengers dead and another paralysed has been jailed for four years.

Harry Smith, 18, had only had his driving licence for about seven weeks when he crashed a Vauxhall Corsa, killing 16-year-old Jasmine Elkasmi.

Two other 16-year-old girls who were passengers were seriously injured when Smith's car overturned on the A285 at Halnaker, West Sussex, in September last year.

One of the girls was left paralysed from the waist down and the other unnamed teenager suffered facial and dental injuries, Sussex Police said.

At Chichester Crown Court today, Smith was jailed after admitting last month causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, police said.

It emerged that officers had stopped Smith, of Haleybridge Walk, Tangmere, a number of times before the fatal crash to warn him about his driving.

Sergeant Paul Wood, of Sussex Police, said: "Smith was 17 at the time of the collision and he had only held his driving licence for about seven weeks.

"He had been stopped by police before the collision on a number of occasions due to the manner of his driving and he had been issued with a Section 59 warning, which meant that if he had been stopped again, his vehicle would have been seized.

"A girl died as a result of his dangerous driving and two other girls were left with serious injuries, one of them life-changing.''

Judge Christopher Parker QC disqualified Smith from driving for four years and ordered him to take an extended re-test before holding a licence again.

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