A YOUNG driver from Kineton accused of causing the deaths of three people in an horrific Leamington car crash has been jailed for nine years.
Jamie Riddick, of Park Piece, was also disqualified from driving for 12 years after he was found to have no MOT, no insurance and only a provisional licence.
The 21-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of dangerous driving having originally been charged with careless driving.
It followed the deaths of Emily Jennings, 27, Nathan Rhodes, 23, and Ryan Case, 25, who lost their lives after a Citroen Saxo travelling out of town on the A425 left the road and smashed into a tree and a wall on June 20.
Emergency services were called to Radford Road near the junctions of Willes Road and Eastnor Grove around 2.45am but all three were already dead.
Front seat passenger, 21-year-old Charlie Smith, was taken to hospital with serious injuries but survived.
In September Riddick, who then gave his address as Albion Street, Kenilworth, was charged with three counts of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol.
He went before magistrates at Leamington Justice Centre a month later.
And appearing at Coventry Crown Court on Wednesday (January 27), Riddick wore a suit and a black tie.
The court heard Riddick, who was almost twice the legal alcohol limit, had consumed half a bottle of vodka and hit his girlfriend causing a black eye before leaving the house and driving to Leamington.
He offered the friends a lift back to Southam after they struggled to get a taxi at the end of the night but after being asked by police about the crash he denied ever having driven the car and tried to shift the blame to the victims.
The court was also told how the car – bought as an insurance write-off for £375 – was in a very bad state of repair with three under inflated tyres and worn brakes.
The whole community was rocked by the tragedy and the scene of the crash was flooded with flowers and cards paying tribute to the trio in the aftermath.
Carpenter Nathan lived in Southam, while father-of-two Ryan, from the nearby village of Stockton, worked for Praxair Surface Technologies. Mum-of-one Emily was a beautician who lived in Warwick.
Jailing Riddick, Recorder Helen Mountford QC, said: “Your car wasn’t fit to be driven even if you hadn’t been so intoxicated.
“Your car, which was an insurance write-off, had no MoT and wasn’t safe. The tyres were under-inflated and the brakes were badly and obviously defective.
“No sentence I can impose can lessen the heartache and impact for the family and friends of those who died. All three lost their lives because of what you did.
“It was a tragic and pointless loss of three hopeful young lives.”