19th Nov, 2018

Driver pleads guilty to killing brothers Corey and Casper Platt-May

Editorial Correspondent 26th Mar, 2018 Updated: 27th Mar, 2018

THE BANNED driver who killed Coventry youngsters Corey and Casper Platt-May in a horrific hit-and-run collision knows he is facing a lengthy jail term.

Robert Brown pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to charges of causing the deaths of six-year-old Corey and two-year-old Casper by dangerous driving.

The charges follow a heart-breaking accident at just after 2pm on February 22 in Longfellow Road, Coventry, when the youngsters, who were with their mother, were hit by a black Ford Focus driven by Brown.

Without a thought for the boys, Brown drove off before abandoning the car in nearby Hipswell Highway, but he and his passenger Gwendoline Harrison were arrested shortly afterwards.

At the court Brown, 53, of Attwood Crescent, Wyken, Coventry, also pleaded guilty to driving the Focus while disqualified, having no insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with his licence.

With him in the dock was Harrison, 41, of Triumph Close, Wyken, who had also originally faced two charges of causing death by dangerous driving.

But her solicitor David Murray explained: “A notice of discontinuance on those matters was served at the end of last week.”

She denied a charge of assaulting a man with intent to prevent Brown’s detention, but came back into court later in the day, after speaking to Mr Murray in the cells, and changed her plea to guilty.

And prosecutor Rachel Brand QC said she would accept Harrison’s not guilty plea to a further charge of perverting the course of justice.

That charge had alleged Harrison had attempted to assist Brown to evade arrest by claiming she had been driving and later encouraged him to claim someone else had been driving.

In relation to Brown, Miss Brand told the judge: “For a number of reasons, we do not invite you to sentence Robert Brown today. What we propose is that the case is listed for sentence on the afternoon of April 27.”

Judge Anthony Potter agreed, and asked Brown’s barrister Tyrone Smith QC if he was asking for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on him.

But Mr Smith responded: “No, one is not required. He has been advised, and accepts my advice, that he is going to receive a lengthy custodial sentence.

“There is no need to engage the services of the probation service. The mitigation I’m going to put forward is largely the [guilty] plea.”

Adjourning the case until April 27, and remanding them both in custody, Judge Potter said it would be listed on that date in front of the Honorary Recorder of Coventry, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC.

And later, after Harrison had changed her plea, he told her: “Mr Brown is inevitably facing a lengthy custodial sentence.

“There is every likelihood that you will also receive a custodial sentence, but the judge who hears the case will hear submissions on the length appropriate.”

After the hearing, detective sergeant Paul Hughes, from the Collision Investigation Unit at West Midlands Police, said: “We are still all devastated by the deaths of Corey and Casper and nothing can ever compensate for their loss.

“These were two young boys with their whole lives ahead of them but this was taken away by the actions of one man.

“It is hard to imagine the pain the family and friends of Corey and Casper have been going through. As police officers we have done our best to offer support while also feeling their agony.

“The whole community has been hit hard by this tragedy and we can only thank them for the assistance they have provided during this investigation.

“We are also grateful to the media for their responsible reporting which has enabled us to complete our enquiries leading to today’s court case.”

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