Four years in jail for Porsche killer

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A TEENAGER who knocked down and killed two elderly sisters while speeding in a Porsche bought for him as an 18th birthday present was yesterday sentenced to four years' detention.

There were gasps from Satvinder Nijjer's family as he was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court after being convicted last month of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving. Judge John Warner told the 19-year- old he was guilty of travelling at "grossly excessive" speed when he knocked down and killed Lavinia and Winifred Carrington, 78 and 76, during a school lunch break in Wolverhampton in February 1997.

Judge Warner also said the teenager's father Surinder, who bought the car, "had a lot to answer for" and shared the blame for the tragedy. "If he had thought about this he would have known this was an accident waiting to happen."

The judge said: "This was a bad example of dangerous driving. You overtook at grossly excessive speeds... on a damp road when it was plainly unsafe, and you lost control."

The judge said he was satisfied that Nijjer had been driving too fast on occasions along the same road on the days immediately preceding the accident. "The term `showing off' is an emotive term but has been used. I am sure you were showing your friends just what the car could do and what you could do in it."

The judge said there were a number of mitigating factors in Nijjer's case, including his young age and the "immaturity and lack of judgement" that went with his youth. He acknowledged that Nijjer and his family had been devastated by the accident and the teenager's education had been affected.

A jury at Stafford Crown Court convicted Nijjer last month of causing the deaths, at the end of a two-week trial.

The jury was told how the teenager, who was a sixth-form student at St Edmund's Roman Catholic school, in Wolverhampton, when the accident happened, was driving his red convertible Porsche 944 when he lost control, mounted the pavement and hit the pair.

Michael Challinor, for the prosecution, said the schoolboy had passed his test only eight months before the accident.

The Carrington sisters were celebrating Winifred's 76th birthday when they were hit from behind by the car, which was travelling at up to 70mph. Nijjer's father had bought the pounds 14,000 second-hand Porsche just days before the crash.

Police said after the trial that Nijjer had marked out a deadly circuit around the school and used it as a racetrack to impress his friends.

The schoolboy claimed he was driving at only 30mph and the accident was the result of a mechanical defect.

Roger Smith QC, for the defence, said Nijjer was previously of blameless character and was "by all accounts an admirable young man. This is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life and he is genuinely remorseful."