A 19-year-old man has been jailed for 11 years for killing four people including a toddler in a high-speed crash following a police chase through a built-up area of Sheffield.
Elliott Bower was driving a stolen Volkswagen Golf when it collided at 79mph with a people carrier in a residential street in November.
Adnan Ashraf Jarral, 35, his 16-month-old son, Muhammed Usman Bin Adnan, and the family’s friends Vlasta Dunova, 41, and her husband, Miroslav Duna, 50, died in the crash.
Jarral’s wife, Erica Kroscenova, 32, Duna and Dunova’s daughter Nikola Dunova, 22, and her three-year-old daughter, Livia Matova, were all seriously injured.
Bower, described by the judge as a “miserably wretched local criminal”, reached speeds of more than 100mph as he led police on a six-mile chase after taunting officers on social media with a picture captioned “fuck da police”.
Bower and his brother, Declan, were wanted by police at the time for questioning in relation to serious offences including attempted murder.
Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, said the pair, along with a third defendant, Mason Cartledge, now 18, were all engaged in a “pro-criminal lifestyle” and were “resolved not to surrender to custody”.
The judge Jeremy Richardson QC said the driving was “both chilling and breathtaking in its horror” and noted that none of the defendants had expressed any remorse.
Passing sentencing at Doncaster crown court on Monday, he said: “You have visited a catastrophe of the highest magnitude on two families..”
Elliot Bower was jailed for 11 and a half years after he admitted four counts of causing death by dangerous driving and three charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Declan Bower and Cartledge were each sentenced to seven years and 10 months after they pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking in which death was caused.
Richardson said he would send his sentencing remarks to the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, who is conducting a review of sentencing in death by dangerous driving cases.
The judge said it may be worth considering increasing the maximum sentence for the offence beyond the current 14 years for “exceptional, serious” cases involving multiple deaths.
He said Elliott Bower would have been given the maximum 14 years if he had not pleaded guilty.
In a victim impact statement, Kroscenova said: “We didn’t deserve this and we lost loved ones. I lost my baby boy, who gave me strength and appetite for life every day. I miss his smile, I miss his voice, I never heard him calling me mummy, the only word he said was daddy.”
The Independent Office for Police Conduct launched an investigation after the crash due to the police pursuit. Richardson said “not a jot of blame” for the crash should be attached to any of the police officers, whom he commended for driving with skill in “extremely difficult circumstances”.
The court heart that while Elliot Bower was in police custody he claimed he had not been driving the vehicle and told an officer: “I’ll get out and bang, I’ll do the same thing again and you will have to arrest me.”