16-year-old joyrider kills child passenger

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16-year-old joyrider kills child passenger

A 16-year-old boy is in the dock after taking a car without permission and causing the death of his eight-year-old passenger after crashing into a telegraph pole.

Leicester Crown Court heard that the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, took the car on July 3 last year, accompanied by 21-year-old Ranvir Singh and child Abhay Jadeja, while his parents were away at a religious event.

The car – a two-seater Smart – belonged to Abhay's father, Ditandra Jadeja, and was found crashed into a pole outside a chip shop on Gipsy Lane, Northfields.

Young Abhay suffered severe head injuries and was found to be in the rear luggage compartment of the compact city car at the time of the crash. He was taken to hospital where he died a few hours later.

Front seat passenger Singh suffered a fractured pelvis and hip as well as a number of broken ribs.

Mr Jadeja told the court that he had no idea anyone had taken the car, and that he had left his young son under the supervision of his 17-year-old daughter.

However, CCTV footage from the famly's driveway shows eight-year-old Abhay willingly getting into the car with the aid of the defendant before being driven off.

Now 17, the teen denies causing death by careless driving, aggravated vehicle taking and driving without a licence and insurance, claiming he wasn't behind the wheel at the time of the accident.

Witnesses, however, claim that they saw a male in a red T-shirt getting out of the driver's side of the car immediately after the collision, similar to that worn by the defendant the same night.

Addressing the jury, James Thomas, prosecuting, said: "The Crown's case is that he was the driver,"

"The vehicle mounted the kerb, clipped a lamppost, causing it to rotate and collide, off-side, with the telegraph post and wall.

"The force of the impact threw the defendant onto the lap of unconscious Ranvir Singh.

"Neither were wearing seat belts.

"Witnesses saw the male in the red T-shirt get out of the driver's side."

Passenger Singh has already pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, by allowing him to be carried in a vehicle he knew was taken without consent. He is currently awaiting sentencing.

The trial continues.