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Last Updated: Monday, 10 April 2006, 14:19 GMT 15:19 UK
Mother jailed over crash deaths
Marshall Haynes, Liam Hastings and Josh Bartlett (left to right)
Marshall Haynes, Liam Hastings and Josh Bartlett died in the crash
A mother who crammed seven boys into her car during a birthday outing before causing a pile-up in which four people died has been jailed for two years.

Nurse Angela Dublin, 46, of London Road, Headington, Oxford, pleaded guilty last month to four counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Three of her seven passengers, Josh Bartlett, Liam Hastings, and Marshall Haynes, all 13, were killed last May.

Howard Hillsdon, 21, who was in another car, also died on Oxford's A4142.

Like the bereaved, her thoughts over the last year have always been with the victims
Frank Burton, defence barrister

Dublin, a nurse of 25 years, was disqualified from driving for six years.

She had been taking a party of her son Anton's friends out to dinner to celebrate his 13th birthday when the tragedy happened on 28 May.

Dublin was seen pulling into an overtaking lane, without indicating, as she approached a silver car in front at about 70mph.

It was then that Dublin lost control, the back of the car swerving first left and then right before ploughing across the grassed central reservation.

Mr Hillsdon, 21, of Oxford was killed when Dublin's car hit his vehicle and sent it into a spin.

As the two cars spun together each collided with another vehicle. A motorcyclist was also knocked off his bike in the chain of events.

Flowers laid in tribute to the dead and injured by the side of the A4142
There was no crash barrier at the scene of the collision

Judge Mr Justice Crane said that although Dublin was driving within the limit, her speed in the circumstances was "excessive".

He said: "In my view, apart from taking the risk of multiple deaths and injuries, there were aggravating factors in driving when there were serious distractions and in driving at greatly excessive speed in those circumstances."

Dublin herself was left fighting for her life in hospital together with her son and his three surviving friends, Aiden Wood, 13, Jake Proper, 13, and Conor Hunt, 12.

On Monday, defence barrister Frank Burton told Oxford Crown Court "by her pleas of guilty to the four counts of causing death by dangerous driving, Mrs Dublin unequivocally accepts her responsibility for her fatal error.

"She wishes to apologise to the bereaved families and friends of Liam and Josh and Marshall and Howard Hillsdon.

In my judgment it would not be appropriate to suspend the sentence
Judge Mr Justice Crane

"She knows that nothing that she can say and nothing that she can do will ease their pain, but she expresses her sincere condolences to the various families and friends for their losses.

"Like the bereaved, her thoughts over the last year have always been with the victims."

The court was told that only one of the boys in the car had been wearing a seat belt and at least one, possibly two, had been in the boot of the Citroen Xsara, when Dublin lost control of the car.

A witness recalled seeing children joking, laughing and making "childish gestures" through the back window before the accident.

Judge Crane said: "I have considered carefully whether I should reduce the sentence and whether, as I am asked to, I can suspend it.

"In my judgment it would not be appropriate to suspend the sentence."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Families of the victims tell of their outrage at the sentence



SEE ALSO:
Barrier at scene of fatal crash
30 Jan 06 |  Oxfordshire
Death crash barrier work to start
22 Dec 05 |  Oxfordshire
Mother faces bypass crash charges
22 Nov 05 |  Oxfordshire
Award for crash help fire officer
15 Sep 05 |  Oxfordshire
Schools mourn road crash victims
06 Jun 05 |  Oxfordshire


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