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Triple death crash driver stole car to impress girlfriend

JAILED: Luke Bootes
JAILED: Luke Bootes

AN 18-year-old man whose driving killed three women after he stole a high performance car has been jailed for nine years.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that Luke Bootes took the car to impress his girlfriend.

He was twice the legal alcohol limit when he lost control of the Janguar Sovereign and smashed into a car on the Brielle Way, Sheerness.

Friends Carol Whittaker, 55, Phyllis Paolillo, 54, and 50-year-old Jean Wigglesworth, died almost instantly. Bootes limped away from the scene and hid.

When arrested, he told police: "I am drunk. My mother will kill me. What have I done? I have killed someone.

"The reason I took the car was to impress my girlfriend. I knew I should not have done it. I didn’t expect to get caught."

Judge Michael Lawson, QC, told Bootes, of Hawthorn Avenue, Sheerness: "No sentence can ever match the utter desolation caused to three families."

Bootes, who did not have a driving licence, admitted three charges of causing death by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking and making off without paying.

Police estimated that he was driving at almost 60mph in a 30mph limit when he skidded and crashed.

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