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Drunk driver Benjamin Henley jailed for causing the death of 15-year-old Georgia Mann in Bobbing

A drunk driver at the wheel of a van which killed a 15-year-old was told by her sister today: "You didn't just kill Georgia...You killed the family."

Now, Benjamin Henley has been jailed for seven years and banned from driving for nine-and-a-half-years.

Georgia Mann died after the stranded car she was a passenger in was hit on a slip road at Bobbing, near Sittingbourne
Georgia Mann died after the stranded car she was a passenger in was hit on a slip road at Bobbing, near Sittingbourne

Henley, of Illustrious Close, Chatham had admitted causing Georgia Mann's death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury to two others on October 24, 2018.

His sentence was delayed after the driver of an Audi in which Georgia had been travelling was tried for causing her death by careless driving when his car ran out of fuel on on a slip-road on the Sheppey-bound carriageway at Bobbing, near Sittingbourne.

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court subsequently acquitted Audi driver Andre Trenton, of Malvern Road, Gillingham.

Today, at the same court, Henley heard from Georgia's sister, Samantha Law who told him: "Our Gem was taken from us by the reckless unnecessary actions of two individuals.

"Our family has suffered at the hands of two irresponsible individuals who caused the death of our beautiful Georgia, a young girl who had a bright future ahead."

She said the teenager was a "bubbly caring girl; she would do anything for anyone, would stand up for what she thought was right."

Benjamin Henley
Benjamin Henley

She told how the family has been approached by a number of people grateful that as an organ donor, Georgia had helped a several people - including a 10-year-old boy.

Prosecutor Peter Forbes revealed how Georgia had been travelling in the car of Mr Trenton who had been dating Sinead Hayes, whose sister had been best friends with Ms Mann. Both were also passengers in the car.

The car ran out of fuel and Trenton then went to a nearby garage to get fuel - after leaving Ms Mann and Ms Hayes sitting in the stricken vehicle.

After returning and as he was pouring the petrol into the car, Henley's VW Caddy came around the corner then ploughed into the Audi - knocking Mr Trenton into the air.

Mr Trenton then landed in the middle of the busy A249 dual carriageway.

Georgia Mann was 15 when she died
Georgia Mann was 15 when she died

Mr Forbes revealed how police in a passing car saw the aftermath and Mr Trenton lying in the path of an oncoming HGV and the officer ran across both lanes to reach him.

"He moved Mr Trenton's head out of the way and then found Ms Hayes and Georgia lying unconscious in the Audi."

Georgia was flown to Kings College Hospital in London but died from multiple injuries 36 hours later, on October 26 at 11.17 am.

At the scene, Henley became "massively belligerent" and objected to being handcuffed, asking officers: "Why are you arresting me and not them? They pulled out in front of me."

The prosecutor said Henley was slurring his words saying: "I just drove into them ****" and was denying he had done anything wrong.

Pictures from a memorial held for Georgia. Picture: John Westhrop
Pictures from a memorial held for Georgia. Picture: John Westhrop

"He told the officer: 'I hit some **** up the ****. You don't know **** do you?" the prosecutor revealed. "When he was later breathalised tests revealed he was more than two-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit."

Henley's sister Eleanor Bullimore told the judge: "He isn't a bad person" as she pleaded for mercy for his "unforgivable actions."

Trevor Wright, defending, said no-one listening to details of the incident and the impact it has had on the family couldn't help but be moved.

"The incident happened three years ago but it might have been three days ago, three hours ago, three minutes ago for (Georgia's) family."

He added that Henley felt deep remorse over his actions and understands the family's feelings of a "deep sense of bitterness, anger and a sense of betrayal."

Judge Charles Gratwicke in jailing him told Henley his behaviour after the death crash was "disgraceful."

And he rejected his claim to have drunk only two or three pints before the crash.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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Read more: All the latest news from Sittingbourne

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