Prison sentence for teenage driver

A GRIEVING widow says the conviction of a 16-year-old who caused the death of her husband by dangerous driving should serve as a warning to other young people. Motorcycle enthusiast Peter Hackworthy, 54, was killed in an accident on the A386 at Lake, near Sourton, last summer and his wife Christine, 49, the pillion passenger, suffered serious injuries. Driver Jeremy Frise, of Buctor Park, Tavistock, was just 16 at the time and the car stereo system was being played so loud he did not hear shouts from his three passengers.

 He tried to overtake a caravan in a 40mph limit and crashed head-on with Mr Hackworthy's 550cc motorcycle. Mrs Hackworthy, from Tamerton Foliot, last Thursday said the loud music in the car may have caused the under age driver to lose concentration. She said: “Youngsters need to realise that it can be dangerous, driving when they are playing music so loud in their cars. “

Drivers need to be able to hear and it always amazes me how they can hear anything when the music is that loud. It is dangerous because they cannot concentrate properly.” She said she had been given a “life sentence” and her feelings were of “pure and utter hatred and anger” for what

had been done to her and her husband. “I have lost my husband and suffered serious injuries. This case should be a warning to other young people and their parents. “I will never get over the emotions.

“Pete was my other half and we had been married for 27 years. I have lost him and I am also having to live with my own injuries.” Mrs Hackworthy spent eight weeks in hospital with a fractured pelvis and still needs further surgery on a broken nose as a result of the crash last June.

She and her husband had gone for a quiet ride together on Dartmoor on a Saturday afternoon to escape the hysteria surrounding an England Euro 2004 game. After the crash, Frise pretended another youth had been driving and had fled the scene. The car's owner Richard Maxwell, 19, of Heather Close, Okehampton, a front seat passenger, backed up the false story. Apprentice carpenter Frise, now 17, was sent to a young offenders” unit for three years and nine months by Judge Graham Cottle at Exeter Crown Court after he admitted causing death by dangerous driving and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Maxwell admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice and permitting Frise to drive without a licence or insurance. He was sent to a young offenders” institution for nine months. Judge Cottle said: “Mr Hackworthy's driving was utterly blameless.

Nothing this court does will change the tragic outcome or begin to compensate his widow for her loss. “Against the background of this appalling tragedy Frise and Maxwell attempted to pervert the course of justice by pretending somebody else had been driving.” Jonathan Barnes, prosecuting, said Frise had no licence or insurance and was too young to drive at the time of the accident. He said: “Frise told police he had only driven twice before on the roads and had never had a professional driving lesson. Nevertheless he told police he considered himself a competent driver.” Stephen Mooney, defending Frise, said he was full of remorse and bitterly regretted his actions. Malcolm Galloway, defending Maxwell, said his client acted out of fear and immaturity and had learned the lessons from the accident. An order forbidding the identification of Frise was lifted by the judge.