Mitcham joyriders jailed over death of pal in Hackbridge crash
Freddy Shelley, left, was on the stolen bike with his friend Dylan Roff, right, who was killed in the crash
Two teenage joyriders who were on a stolen motorbike when it crashed, killing their best friend, have been jailed.
Frederick Shelley, 18, and Macauley Curdie, 16, had hot-wired and ridden off a 125cc Honda bike with friend Dylan Roff, in July last year when it clipped a kerb.
Dylan was fatally injured as the three best friends were sent flying by the impact when the bike fell on to its side, skidding and smashing into a BT junction box.
The 16-year-old was taken to hospital and put on a life-support machine, but his injuries were so serious his family took the decision to switch it off a day later.
The teenagers, who had stolen bikes together before, had lost control of the vehicle which had been made unstable by having three passengers.
None of the youths had driving licences. Shelley, who was 17 at the time and who told police he was driving the bike, was seriously injured and hospitalised in the crash.
Fifteen-year-old Curdie, who received just cuts and bruises, fled the scene without ringing for an ambulance for his friends.
His family called emergency services when he arrived home.
At Croydon Crown Court yesterday Shelley and Curdie were each sentenced to 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to aggravated vehicle taking resulting in a fatal accident.
Sentencing the two, Judge Warwick McKinnon, the recorder of Croydon, called it a tragic case.
He said: “It is an example of the criminal folly of youth and immaturity... an utterly and entirely dangerous thing to do with catastrophic consequences when whoever it was who was the rider of the bike lost control.
“No sentence which I pass today can restore the human life that was senselessly lost.”
Harry Potter, defending Shelley, said: “He shows extreme remorse and will live with this for the rest of his life. He has said he would rather have died than his friend.
“This is not a stranger, not an enemy, but his best friend.”
The three boys had stolen the bike from outside an address in Wallington in the small hours of July 13.
Prosecutor Hamish Reid said: “They were friends of long standing. They had been out that evening and were looking for a motorbike to take. This was not uncommon for them.
"They were all on the back [of the bike] together, though their respective positions on the bike were not clear.
“The bike was clearly not designed to carry three... it would seriously affect the stability of the bike.”
The court was told they were not on alcohol or drugs when, at an estimated 31mph, they lost control of the bike in London Road, Hackbridge.
The injured youths were discovered by dog unit officers on routine patrol at the junction of London Road and Park Road shortly after 5am.
Shelley, of New Close, Mitcham, who has a string of previous convictions, including aggravated vehicle taking, spent weeks in hospital following the crash.
Curdie, of Hartfield Road, Mitcham, was due to be released on Friday after a 12-month sentence for two robberies. He will serve a detention and training order in a young offender institution.
He claimed he ran from the scene because he was frightened and disorientated and had fallen from the bike before knowing the crash had occurred.
Both wiped tears from their eyes as they were read their sentences.
The court was told Dylan’s family were too devastated by what had happened to attend court.