Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Banned driver who killed two young brothers has jail term increased

Robert Brown was speeding and high on drugs when he mowed down Corey and Casper Platt-May, aged six and two.

A speeding driver who killed two young brothers in a hit-and-run while high on drugs has been given a tougher sentence by senior judges.

Robert Brown was banned from driving, travelling at more than twice the speed limit and had taken a cocktail of drugs when he mowed down Corey and Casper Platt-May, aged six and two.

The 53-year-old was jailed for nine years at Warwick Crown Court in April after admitting all charges against him, including two counts of death by dangerous driving.

But his sentence was increased to 10-and-a-half years on Wednesday at the Court of Appeal in London.

Sir Brian Leveson, sitting with two other judges, said the case justified a term “at the very top of the sentencing range”.

He said: “It does not need this court to underline that the impact of these offences has been truly catastrophic on the family of these two boys.

“We have read the victim personal statements provided by their mother and eight-year-old brother and recognise that no sentence which the court can impose will ever make up for the loss that they have suffered.”

The boys were on their way to a park with their mother Louise Platt-May when they were struck by Brown’s Ford Focus as they crossed MacDonald Road, Coventry, in February.

Mrs Platt-May called for the Government to introduce stiffer penalties for “drivers who think they are above the law” after Brown was jailed.

Their father Reece Platt-May was found dead while on holiday in Greece in May.

bpanews_168d0635-532d-464a-b86e-27c8a5516256_embedded237474376
Robert Brown (West Midlands Police/PA)

Solicitor General Robert Buckland referred Brown’s original sentence to the court and argued it was “unduly lenient”.

Brown, of Attwood Crescent in Wyken, Warwickshire, had never had a driving licence in his life and was banned from driving at the time of the crash.

He had taken cocaine, diazepam and zopiclone and was driving his Ford Focus at more than 60mph in a 30mph zone on February 22 when he ploughed into the brothers.

Despite efforts to save them, they died in hospital a short while later.

bpanews_168d0635-532d-464a-b86e-27c8a5516256_embedded236773406
A forensic officer at the scene of the fatal collision in Coventry (Aaron Chown/PA)

Brown, who fled the scene, had 30 previous convictions for driving offences and was only released from prison six days before the crash after serving half of a six-month sentence for having an offensive weapon.

His passenger at the time of the crash, Gwendoline Harrison, 42, of Triumph Close, Wyken, was jailed for six months after admitting assault intending to resist arrest and attempting to flee the scene.

In a statement released by her lawyers Irwin Mitchell after Brown was jailed, Mrs Platt-May said he had shown a “total disregard for the law”.

She added: “Because of him we are living a life sentence knowing we will never see our boys grow up, whilst he will be out of prison in just a few years and will be free to continue his life.

“We will never come to terms with how Corey and Casper were taken far too soon.

“Our only hope now is that some good comes out of their deaths through the introduction of tougher punishments for drivers who think they are above the law.”

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph