Guilty verdict in triple death crash

A MAN has been found guilty of causing the deaths of three teenage girls in a car crash after "five minutes of complete and utter madness".

The jury at Bradford Crown Court found Adam Anguige, 25, of White Lee Road, Batley, guilty of three counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

He had denied the charges.

Natalie Donlon, 16, from Dewsbury, Gemma Cost, 15 from Healey, and Ursula Alokaro, 16, from Heckmondwike, were all killed in the accident in Wakefield Road, Huddersfield, on September 1, 2006.

The unanimous verdict was greeted with a round of applause from the public gallery at the hearing last Thursday.

His Honour Judge Christopher Prince told Anguige: "You face a considerable period of imprisonment for this absolutely appalling piece of driving."

The case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports, and the judge remanded Anguige in custody.

The court had heard how Anguige became involved in a game of "cat and mouse" with a Fiesta, in which the three girls were travelling as passengers.

The driver of the Fiesta, James Houston, of Hillhouse, Huddersfield, was so seriously injured he did not have the mental capacity to be tried.

But the jury determined Houston was driving dangerously and in a way which was a cause in the deaths.

Anguige will be sentenced at the same time as Houston on a date yet to be fixed.

Det Insp Chris Walker from the Homicide and Major Inquiries Team said after the verdict: "The tragic loss of the three girls is all on account of the actions of two young men who chose that night to drive in a reckless and dangerous manner, without a thought or care for anyone else, in what amounted to five minutes of complete madness."

Speaking on behalf of the Cost, Alokolaro and Donlan families, Natalie's mother, Tracy Marlow, said: "It has been over a year since Gemma, Ursula and Natalie died and the ordeal has had a devastating effect on our lives.

"All our girls were outgoing, fun-loving, caring and intelligent people who had the rest of their lives ahead of them. They had so much to give to society and were involved in youth projects within Kirklees.

"To lose someone so close in this way without warning is extremely difficult to accept and we will spend the rest of our lives having to live with our loss.

"While the outcome of this trial will never bring the girls back we hope it will serve as a warning to other young girls so that other people's lives will not be destroyed in the same way.

"We are all absolutely devastated at losing the girls in such terrible circumstances. It feels like our lives have been torn apart, however, we have received support from our family, friends, work and West Yorkshire Police. In particular, from the Family Liaison Officers who have been sensitive to our feelings throughout this time.

"We do feel frustrated that we have not received full justice following this incident as Houston was not fit to stand trial due to his mental capacity and we feel the laws surrounding this area are not adequate."