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Driver who killed friend 'cries and cannot sleep'

A LEARNER driver who crashed a car, killing his friend, was put on two years' probation yesterday by an Old Bailey judge who was told that the defendant was likely to commit suicide if jailed.

Jamie Cook, 18, had suffered deep depression 'through the knowledge he killed his friend and destroyed a family', his counsel, Jane Carpenter, said. Since the accident last February, he had twice attempted suicide, given up his A- level studies, broken off his engagement and vowed never to drive again. 'He cries frequently, he can't sleep properly and can't conduct any sort of normal life.'

Cook, of Sutton, Surrey, had earlier pleaded guilty to causing death by reckless driving. The court was told that he and his friend, Amos Boner, 15, had left a disco in a car. Cook, who had not passed his driving test, was driving at 50mph in a 30mph zone when his car clipped the kerb and crashed into a pub doorway.