Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds crash: Boy, 15, admits causing deaths

Clockwise from top left: Ellis and Elliott Thornton-Kimmitt, Robbie Meerun, Anthony Armour and Darnell Harte
Image caption Clockwise from top left: Ellis and Elliott Thornton-Kimmitt, Robbie Meerun, Anthony Armour and Darnell Harte

A 15-year-old boy has admitted causing the deaths of five people who were killed when the stolen car they were in hit a tree in Leeds.

Ellis, 12, and Elliott Thornton-Kimmitt, 14, died along with Darnell Harte, 15, Anthony Armour and Robbie Meerun, both 24, in the crash on 25 November.

The boy, who cannot be named, appeared at Leeds Crown Court by video link.

He pleaded guilty to five counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

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The three boys and two men died when the Renault Clio they were in crashed into a tree in Stonegate Road, Meanwood, at 21:55 GMT.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The stolen car hit a tree on Stonegate Road in Meanwood

West Yorkshire Police said the car had been stolen in the Headingley area of the city hours earlier.

A force spokesman previously said officers found a scene of "complete carnage" when they arrived at the crash site on a residential street about three miles north of Leeds city centre.

The boy was remanded in custody for reports to be prepared ahead of sentencing, which is expected to take place on 26 January.

Image copyright Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Image caption Floral tributes were placed close to the scene in the days after the crash
Image copyright PA
Image caption Six people were in the car when it crashed on 25 November

During the 20-minute hearing, several people in the public gallery wept as the guilty pleas were entered.

Judge Peter Collier QC, the Recorder of Leeds, told the boy a custodial term was "inevitable" and he was warned to expect a lengthy sentence.

Inquests into the deaths were opened and adjourned at Wakefield Coroner's Court on Monday.

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption The Renault Clio struck a tree at speed, causing car parts to be strewn over the road and pavement
Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Police closed the road for several hours to allow forensic investigations to be carried out

David Holderness, from the Crown Prosecution Service, described the incident as a "truly shocking crime".

He said: "The defendant acted in a supremely dangerous way, driving erratically and at great speed in a residential area.

"Tragically his victims paid the price of the driver's utter irresponsibility with their lives."

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