A presiding judge expressed sympathy for the families of two young girls who were killed in a collision, revealing he lost his own brother in a road accident.
Lucy Pygott, 17, and Stacey Burrows, 16, were killed when they were hit by a black Ford Focus on Queen’s Avenue, Aldershot, Hampshire, in November last year.
Soldier Michael Casey stands charged with causing their deaths by dangerous driving and District Judge Phillip Gillibrand, presiding over the short hearing, said he understood the “anguish” the relatives were going through.
Speaking to the families at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Gillibrand said: “These are dreadful cases. I would like to pass on my sympathy to you. I do not know the incident but I myself lost my brother in a road traffic accident.
“I know the trauma and the anguish you must be going through, I send you my sympathy.”
The teenagers were both promising runners and members of Aldershot, Farnham and District Athletic Club.
The pair had been taking part in a training session when they were tragically struck by the vehicle.
Speaking after the accident, Stacey’s family said her motto in life was “work hard”.
Relatives of Lucy say they felt lucky to have had her as part of their family as she had been “absolute joy” to them.
A serious case
Mr Casey, 24, of St Pauls Road, Tottenham, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address and did not enter pleas to the two charges.
The serving soldier at Aldershot Garrison is likely to enter pleas at a later date, after his charge was deemed to be an “indictable offence” and his case was escalated to crown court.
The district judge told Casey: “This is a matter that must be dealt with in the crown court so I am sending these cases and you to Winchester Crown Court. You must attend on April 13.”
Source: Get Hampshire
Date Published: March 27, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown