Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Monday, 8 September 2008 15:49 UK

Boy, 16, jailed over crash death

Michael Morden
Michael Morden pleaded guilty and was jailed for five years

A 16-year-old boy has been jailed for five years for killing a teenage passenger in a car crash during a police pursuit in Brighton.

Michael Morden, of Brighton, previously admitted causing death by dangerous driving at Lewes Crown Court.

Matthew Sadler, 17, died and four others were hurt when the car they were in crashed into a wall on 9 February.

Investigators said four people were thrown out of the vehicle when it crashed, including Matthew.

Morden, of Auckland Drive, who was 15 at the time, admitted a number of other driving offences including failing to stop, driving without a licence, having no insurance and being over the drink-drive limit.

He was disqualified from driving for seven years.

After the hearing, Matthew's sister Lesley Stringer said: "Was Matthew worth five years? No. Nothing would be enough. It wouldn't bring Matt back."

Matthew Sadler died in the crash in Brighton
Matthew Sadler died in the crash in Brighton

Three young men and two young women were in the Mazda car when it hit the garden wall of a house in the Whitehawk area of Brighton at 0100 GMT.

An investigation into the cause of the crash was carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which found that the actions of the officers involved were "fully justified".

An IPCC statement said two officers on patrol in a marked police car saw the Mazda coming towards them and used emergency equipment to stop the car.

It said: "The Mazda failed to stop and a short pursuit followed."

The driver lost control, hit a wall, and came to rest in the middle of the road, the statement added.

An IPCC report on Monday said there was no evidence to suggest the officer's driving contributed to the Mazda driver losing control and crashing.

Young lives have been ruined, an in one case ended, as a result of what was at the time perceived to be a bit of fun

Insp Phil Clarke

IPCC commissioner David Petch said: "The number of people, particularly young men, who die each year as a result of police pursuit, is rightly a cause for public concern and the IPCC take these type of incidents very seriously.

"We have undertaken a thorough investigation of the circumstances leading to Matthew's death and found that the officer driving the police car and his colleague both acted responsibly and in line with force policy."

Sussex Police Insp Phil Clarke said: "Although the car was not stolen, it was to all intents and purposes being used by a group of teenagers for joyriding that night.

"Matty Sadler tragically lost his life when it crashed and others were injured, some seriously.

"Young lives have been ruined, and in one case ended, as a result of what was at the time perceived to be a bit of fun."

Boy admits driving death charge
08 Aug 08 |  Sussex
Boy on car pursuit death charge
13 Jun 08 |  Sussex

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