Men in car race jailed for killing police newlywed

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The Independent Online

Two men who killed a newlywed policewoman as they raced their cars through a built-up area were jailed for seven and five years yesterday.

Anthony Antoniou, 21, and Gavin Delaney-McDermott, 22, were racing their Golf GTIs "bumper to bumper" when the older man's car hit Robert Green's motorbike head on. His wife, Lorna, who was riding pillion, was killed while the 36-year-old fire officer lost both his legs in the accident.

Yesterday, Mrs Green's family said they were stunned but pleased at the length of the sentences. The two men's relatives stormed out of court. Delaney-McDermott, of Streatham Vale, south London, pleaded guilty last month to causing death by dangerous driving while Antoniou, 21, of Norbury, was convicted of the same offence after a seven-day trial at Kingston Crown Court.

Judge Richard Haworth, who jailed Antoniou for seven years and Delaney-McDermott for five, said the cost of human life could not be measured in the length of their sentences. "Your dangerous and aggressive driving was intentional. This seriously aggravates the offence," he said.

The court was told the pair, who had been racing their cars in Mitcham on 23 August last year, circled a roundabout and headed back up the road.

Mrs Green, 33, a constable with the City of London Police, and her husband were heading in the opposite direction to the men. After Antoniou overtook a car and pulled back into the eastbound carriageway, Delaney-McDermott tried a similar manoeuvre and hit Mr Green's motorcycle. The couple's bike was thrown into the air, landing on the roof of a car being driven by Graham Chadwick, a photographer.

Mr Chadwick suffered severe facial injuries and, as he told the court, continues to struggle with flashbacks and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jonathan Goldberg QC, for Delaney-McDermott, said his client was a man of good character who had pleaded guilty as soon as all the forensic science evidence was available. While he suffered no serious injuries, the crash had a traumatic effect on Delaney-McDermott who had shown "total remorse" for his actions.

Antoniou's barrister, Rich-ard Sutton, said the accident had been a "disaster" not just for the victims but for the two drivers as well.