Sussex

Wisborough Green death driver given suspended sentence

Laura Stocker
Image caption Laura Stocker admitted causing the death of 16-year-old Kirsty Hicks in the accident

An 18-year-old woman has been given a suspended prison sentence for causing the death of a 16-year-old girl in a car crash in West Sussex.

Laura Stocker, of Cherry Tree Close, Billingshurst, was driving a Vauxhall Corsa which crashed with a lorry in Wisborough Green on 7 August 2010.

Kirsty Hicks, 16, of Stane Street, Slinfold, died in hospital six days after the crash.

Stocker admitted causing death by careless driving at an earlier hearing.

Chichester Crown Court heard a momentary lapse of concentration caused the accident, in which two other passengers in the car, an 18-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy, suffered head injuries.

The 71-year-old lorry driver was unhurt.

Image caption The family of Kirsty Hicks was in court to hear the sentencing on Laura Stocker

Stocker was sentenced to 12 months at a young offenders institution, suspended for 20 months, and ordered to carry out 150 hours' unpaid work.

She was also disqualified from driving for three years.

Outside the court, Miss Hicks's family said the driver deserved the most severe punishment.

"Losing Kirsty forever is a consequence of an inexperienced driver who will never realise the lifetime of devastation her actions have caused," they said in a statement read for them by Pc Wayne Dixon.

"We have to live with this every second of every day and our dear Kirsty has lost her life."

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