Man admits dangerous driving charge over girlfriend's death in police chase

A suspected smuggler has admitted killing his girlfriend in a high-speed police chase sparked by a drone hovering over a prison.

Craig Kearney, 27, of Southall, Middlesex, was left seriously injured in the smash that killed nursery worker Acacia Smith near Wandsworth prison on August 9 2016.

Police were alerted to a drone being flown near the prison in the early hours and pursued Kearney's silver Peugeot.

Minutes later the mangled wreckage of the car could be seen nearby in Wandsworth Bridge Road.

At a hearing at the Old Bailey, Kearney pleaded guilty to a single charge of causing Ms Smith's death by dangerous driving.

Prosecutor Nathan Rasiah told the court the defendant drove at "extremely high speed in an attempt to evade a police pursuit".

Officers who found the debris from the car found it so damaged they did not immediately recognise it.

One of them said it was "totally crumpled as though it had been taken to the car pound and crushed".

As they tried to help the trapped driver, he was shouting Ms Smith's name and alerting them that someone was in the flattened passenger side.

Ms Smith died from "multiple injuries", the lawyer said.

He told the court a drone was found inside the wreckage and flight logs showed it had taken off near the prison.

Cannabis wraps, "psychoactive" substances and small mobile phones were also found in the car.

Mr Rasiah said the evidence suggested the defendant had been involved in smuggling contraband into HMP Wandsworth.

He said an analysis of CCTV from Wandsworth Bridge Road showed the Peugeot was travelling at an average speed of up to 91 mph.

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