THE BANNED driver who killed young Coventry brothers Corey and Casper Platt-May in a hit-and-run collision when he was nine times over the drug drive limit has been jailed for nine years.
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.
And Gwendoline Harrison, 41, of Triumph Close, Wyken, who was charged with assaulting a man with intent to prevent Brown’s detention, has been sentenced to six months in jail.
Both have also been banned from driving for 15 years, and 27 months, respectively.
The sentences 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 a previous hearing, 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.
Emergency services arrived at the collision site where they found Corey with serious injuries. He was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he died from his injuries.
Casper was treated at the roadside but he passed away at the scene.
Some 40 metres from the initial impact, the Ford Focus, which had been driven by Brown, came to a halt and the driver and Harrison tried to make their escape.
A member of the public tried to detain Brown a number of times, but was attacked by Harrison. The couple were eventually arrested by police officers a few streets away from the collision.
Tests later revealed Brown to have exceeded the legal threshold for commencing prosecutions for driving with the presence of cocaine in his system, by more than nine times.
A victim statement was read to Warwick Crown Court today from the boys’ mother, Louise Platt-May. She described how the death of her boys had affected the family. She said:
“They will never hold my hand or hug me so tight I can’t breathe. They will never know the opportunities life had in store for them, the journey life should have been for them, the people they would become. Endless opportunities, experiences, relationships, robbed from them.
“I cannot process the scale of their loss or digest the impact their being taken so cruelly has had on myself, my husband and their brothers.
“My family is broken, my heart is broken and time will never heal this.”
Douglas Marshall, Senior Crown Prosecutor with West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This was a most appalling and tragic case that resulted in the deaths of two young brothers.
“Fully aware that he held no valid driving licence or car insurance, the defendant drove a vehicle in a built up residential area whilst under the influence of cocaine and at double the 30mph speed limit.
“As he drove at speed along Longfellow Road, a family were crossing the road and heading to the park to enjoy their half-term school break. Casper Platt-May was in his push-along car and his elder brother Corey was next to him.
“Brown’s Ford Focus collided with the brothers in the middle of the road and then failed to stop. He continued with his journey in his damaged car which he later abandoned. Robert Brown and Gwendoline Harrison have shown no remorse for their actions.
“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are today with the family and friends of Casper and Corey.”
Detective sergeant Paul Hughes, from the serious collision investigation unit, said: “The death of these two young brothers has had a profound impact on the community in Coventry, but they have rallied to provide huge support to the family and friends of Corey and Casper.
“Corey’s school and football team have held events to celebrate the young brothers’ lives rather than dwell of the tragedy that befell them.
“No sentence the court gives will ever bring the boys back, but I hope the family can get some form of closure in seeing Brown behind bars.”