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Ji Lawrence sentenced for crash in Faversham Road, Kennington

A drug driver from Kennington has been spared jail after leading police on a chase through residential roads before finally ploughing into an oncoming car.

Ji Lawrence, 18, of Dudley Road, left a trail of chaos in the nightmare crash in Faversham Road last August.

The then-17-year-old drove his silver MG ZR through Kennington, despite having cannabis in his system and not having passed his driving test.

Maria Aitken with her daughter Sienna, five, and son Dylan, seven
Maria Aitken with her daughter Sienna, five, and son Dylan, seven

He was followed by police but failed to stop at a junction and smashed into an oncoming BMW.

Appearing at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court in January, Lawrence pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, having no insurance, not having a valid licence, failing to stop for police, and getting behind the wheel with cannabis in his system.

He was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 24 months,.

Magistrates also banned him from driving for 12 months, ordered him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months and to pay a total of £265.

The aftermath of the crash
The aftermath of the crash

But one mother says the sentence is too lenient.

Maria Aitken, whose seven-year-old-son Dylan was nearly crushed against a tree in the incident, has criticised the outcome.

She said: “Twenty-six weeks is ridiculous. I really don’t think that’s enough.

“I’m quite surprised with the result, particularly because of the fact that he admitted all
the charges and he still has only been given a suspended sentence.”

Emergency services at the scene of the crash
Emergency services at the scene of the crash

Miss Aitken described the moment when she could only look on in terror as she watched Lawrence’s out-of-control car smash into a tree where her son had been standing.

She said: “I just kept thinking ‘oh my God, he was hit and squashed against that tree’.

“It was beyond awful. I went into a panic and just kept saying ‘oh my God’.

“The lasting damage to the victims clearly has not been taken into consideration at all.

Ji Lawrence admitted a series of driving offences
Ji Lawrence admitted a series of driving offences

“I have no idea what the other family think but I’m sure they would feel the same.

“My son still won’t talk about it. He’s still obviously very affected.

“I appreciate that our prisons are full to the brim and judges will only sentence somebody to prison if they really have to, but I do not think his sentence is enough.

“It just seems a bit too lenient, but I would say that because I’m the mother of a child he nearly crushed and my view would be any sentence is too lenient.

“I guess he is just going to go off and do his own thing now.”

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