91 views 6 mins 0 comments

Speeding driver jailed for 11 years over deaths of ‘twerking’ couple

In Europe
April 05, 2024

A young woman has been jailed for 11 years for killing a couple who were standing up “twerking” in the back of her convertible moments before it crashed.

Adele Okojie-Aidonojie, 23, had been drinking alcohol and driving at more than double the speed limit when her Mini Cooper overturned in Battersea, south London.

Passengers Rida Boutjettif, 24, and Mary Macharia, 23, were flung from the vehicle and died at the scene while her boyfriend, Ben Sidibe, suffered a fractured arm and a bleed to the brain.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, student Okojie-Aidonojie, from Bromley, south London, was found guilty of two charges of causing death by dangerous driving and one of causing injury by dangerous driving.

On Friday, Judge Richard Marks KC described her conduct as “sheer madness” adding: “Especially moments before the collision, your two passengers to your knowledge had been standing up dancing.”

He rejected the suggestion that someone in the back had tugged her arm, saying: “It is clear there was one reason and one reason only for this collision, namely the grossly excessive speed you were travelling.”

The judge also paid tribute to the victims’ families who had been “utterly devastated at the untimely, tragic and needless deaths”.

The court had heard how the defendant’s Mini was going at least 62mph in a 30mph zone before it crashed on route from Clapham to Ladbroke Grove early on July 16 2022.

Mr Boutjettif and Ms Macharia were not wearing seatbelts in the back and had been filmed dancing just before the incident.

Prosecutor Sally Mertens said the defendant had gone with Mr Sidibe and Ms Macharia to pick up their friend, Mr Boutjettif, from a nightclub where he was working.

Mr Sidibe told police that Jamaican music had been playing and he had taken a video of the two other passengers “twerking” in the back.

Just before the collision, CCTV showed the Mini travelling at 62mph before its wheels started to grind against the raised kerbstones on Latchmere Road and the car overturned.

The defendant told a witness at the scene: “Don’t call the police or ambulance. I’ll get arrested.”

She then claimed to a police officer the incident was a “hit and run”.

Following her conviction, the defendant accepted her driving was dangerous, having previously claimed it was merely careless.

In a letter read to the court, she wrote: “I’m really sorry for both the loss of Mary and Rida.

“I’m really sorry they were taken too soon and this was down to me.

“I miss them both very dearly. There is not a day that goes by I’m not thinking of them.”

Addressing the victims’ families, she added: “I hope that now you have a sense of closure and that you have received the justice you were seeking. You deserve that.

“I know I will never forget how happy they made me. Hopefully one day you will find it in your heart to accept my apologies and condolences.”

She apologised to her then-boyfriend, Mr Sidibe, saying she hoped he was able to move one adding: “I never meant to hurt any of you.”

The victims’ families expressed anger at the defendant’s behaviour as well as sadness.

Ms Macharia’s mother Tabitha said she enjoyed a “special bond” with her daughter who was “one in a million” – kind, caring, loyal, affectionate and hard working.

In a victim impact statement, she said: “She loved her family deeply. She had a very big smile and was always laughing.”

She disputed the defendant’s claim that she was her daughter’s “best friend”, saying she met her just once when she found her passed out at Ms Macharia’s birthday party.

Mr Boutjettif’s mother Nabila and sister Rabab described how he stepped up at the age of 16 after the death of his father.

He then refused to allow a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis stop him from going to college and training to become a gas engineer.

They said in their statement: “He was a very caring person who had love for everyone he met.”

Okojie-Aidonojie was disqualified from driving for six years upon her release from prison.

EMEA Tribune is not involved in this news article, it is taken from our partners and or from the News Agencies. Copyright and Credit go to the News Agencies, email news@emeatribune.com Follow our WhatsApp verified Channel210520-twitter-verified-cs-70cdee.jpg (1500×750)

Support Independent Journalism with a donation (Paypal, BTC, USDT, ETH)
whatsapp channel
Avatar
/ Published posts: 30906

The latest news from the News Agencies