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Teen Ashley Taylor faces jail for causing death of his friend by careless driving

The funeral procession for Ben Maitland, 18, killed in a car crash in Broadstairs.

The funeral procession for Ben Maitland, 18, killed in a car crash in Broadstairs

A 19-year-old man is facing prison after he admitted causing the death of his friend by careless driving.

Ashley Taylor was behind the wheel of a black Vauxhall Corsa which hit a wall at the junction of Stone Road and Bishops Avenue in Broadstairs in the early hours of February 11.

The accident led to the death of Benjamin Maitland, a classic car enthusiast and ex-pupil of St George’s School, who was a friend of Taylor’s and a passenger in the car.

Taylor, of Reculver Road, Birchington, appeared at Canterbury Crown Court where he admitted causing the death by careless driving of Mr Maitland while being over the drink drive limit.

Prosecutor Martin Yale told the court a test showed that Taylor had 49 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 milliltres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Mr Yale said: “He was driving in response to an emergency as someone was sick in the back of his car.

“He had only had his licence for five months, but it was clean.”

As a result of the accident, one female passenger suffered a broken vertebra and another had bruising and swelling. An 18-year-old man who was also a passenger in the car was treated for minor injuries, but Taylor was not hurt.

Kerry Waitt, defending, said: “The defendant is a man of previous good character and has an excellent work record, but I accept that the starting point for this is an immediate custodial sentence.

“He was driving in response to an emergency, but it is accepted that the emergency could have been dealt with in another way.”

Judge Nigel van der Bijl said: “This is a dreadful case and it’s highly likely it will end in a custodial sentence.”

Taylor was handed an interim driving ban and will have to return to court on October 19 for sentence.

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