M606 wrong-way crash: Jack Simpson, 16, sentenced to six years for crash which killed three people
After the crash which killed three people, Jack Simpson will spend three years in custody and three years on license
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Police dashcam footage shows a teenage motorist driving the wrong way down a motorway in a stolen van just minutes before killing three people in a head-on collision.
Jack Simpson, now 16, was yesterday (30 August) given six years detention after pleading guilty to death by dangerous driving following the horror crash in June this year.
Footage shown in court showed the teen being chased by police while accelerating up to 95mph in the stolen blue Ford Transit van just before the tragic incident.
The boy can now be named despite after reporting restrictions were lifted by the judge after a request by the press.
After Simpson turned off a roundabout and headed the wrong way down an exit road onto the M606, near Bradford, West Yorkshire, he struck a taxi travelling southbound.
Taxi driver Sohail Ali, 28, and his passenger Simon McHugh, 49, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Kyden Leadbeater, 18, who was in the van, died in hospital a day later.
Simpson pleaded guilty to three counts of death by dangerous driving and one count of dangerous driving and will spend three years in custody and three years on license.
‘My son doesn’t have a life’
During his sentencing yesterday, Mr McHugh’s mother spoke directly to Simpson in court, telling the teen: “’I lost my friend and confidant”.
She added: “He is a big loss in my life.
“He (Simpson) is only young, he has time to change. I hope he has a very happy life with children. My son doesn’t have a life anymore. Please use it, do some good with your life.”
Judge Richard Mansell QC told the court that the incident took place on 13 June just days before Simpson’s birthday, while he was on bail and a curfew for burglaries.
Just before 11pm, he was driving the van with two front seat passengers when he accelerated away from a police car.
He was doing 70mph in a 30mph zone and went through a temporary red light at roadworks and at one point even reached a speeds of up to 95mph, the court heard.
Before the Chain Bar Roundabout, near Cleckheaton, he passed between parked vehicles to switch lanes and then took an exit road to the M606.
He joined the southbound carriageway against the flow of traffic, where a driver flashed his lights and blew his horn to avoid a collision.
But tragically he went on to crash into a taxi, killing its driver Sohail, his passenger Simon McHugh, along with Kyden Leadbeater, who was travelling in the van with the teen.
Simpson was taken to hospital and later transferred to Leeds General Infirmary with a fractured leg and other serious injuries.
Peter Moulson QC, defending Simpson, told the court he had a chaotic upbringing that had affected his development and had been exposed to traumatic domestic abuse and neglect.
He said Simpson had special educational needs and was emotionally immature partly because of his lack of regular attendance at school and the crash was unplanned.
He told the court that the teen accepted full responsibility and said, ‘I’m never going to forgive myself’, adding he didn’t like talking about it ‘because I would never stop crying’.
Sentencing Simpson, the Recorder of Bradford, Judge Richard Mansell QC, said: “Allowing you credit for a guilty plea the sentence on the three offences is one of six years concurrent on each.
“That is six years detention on the grounds that neither a sentence of detention and training, nor a youth rehabilitation order are appropriate disposals in this case.
“These sentences will be regarded by many as placing a wholly inadequate value on the lives of Mr Ali, Mr McHugh and Mr Leadbeater.
“They are not intended to place a value on their lives, and the sentences are in truth the maximum sentences I could pass on you for such offences.
“You will serve half the period of six years in custody less time on remand to date and then will be released on licence.
“It means you will be just approaching 19 by the time you are released on licence.”