Five years in prison for teenage driver who killed British Racing School graduate

  • A teenager has been sentenced to a total of five years in prison following the death of a British Racing School graduate.

    Charlotte Lajoie, from Epsom, died in April last year when the car she was travelling in collided with a vehicle coming in the opposite direction.

    The 17-year-old had completed a course at the Newmarket school earlier that month and was in her first week of a job with trainer Laura Mongan.

    Arthur Berry, of Stable Lane, Findon, near Worthing, admitted one count of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Guildford Crown Court on 8 April.

    He was sentenced to five years behind bars on the first charge and three years each for the further two charges.

    BERRYBerry, 19, (pictured) will serve his sentences concurrently. He was also disqualified from driving for five years and will face an extended re-test.

    Charlotte was a passenger in the grey Seat Ibiza Berry was driving at the time of the accident.

    On 26 April 2015, Berry was driving northbound on the A24 in Capel when he lost control of the car and collided with a silver Ford Fiesta travelling in the opposite direction.

    Charlotte died at the scene and a second female passenger, who was also 17 at the time, suffered “life-changing” injuries.

    Berry sustained serious chest and back injuries and the 28-year-old driver of the Ford Fiesta also suffered serious injuries.

    “The sentencing reflects the severity of this crime and demonstrates how excessive speed and lack of concentration during a few moments of recklessness can lead to a tragedy which will be a lifetime sentence for the victim’s family and for those left with long-term injuries,” said acting DI Gary Wright of Surrey Police’s collision investigation unit.

    “Surrey Police is committed to tackling issues surrounding driving offences and I hope this result shows other young drivers how important it is that they exercise due responsibility for themselves and any passengers in their vehicles.

    “They are in charge of a potentially lethal weapon and must treat it with caution.

    “The outcome that day killed a young girl who had her future ahead of her and needlessly altered lives for a number of people.”

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