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Student killed 'best friend' in crash


A University of Leicester student who "killed his best friend" in a crash after he took his father's car while drunk has been jailed.

Marc Lutman (19) got behind the wheel of the silver Vauxhall Corsa with passenger Ian Deer, also 19, despite having no insurance or permission to drive the vehicle, which had dual controls and belonged to his driving instructor father.

The second-year geography undergraduate gave in to his friend's request for a 1am drive after they were both asked to leave a party for being "worse for wear" earlier in the evening, a court was told.

Lincoln Crown Court heard there was some "tomfoolery" during the 10-minute drive, with Mr Deer pressing the dual controls and pulling Lutman's arm away from the steering wheel shortly before the accident.

The journey ended in tragedy when Lutman lost control of the car while speeding over the 60mph limit on a rural road near the friends' homes in Stickney, Lincolnshire.

Mr Deer, from Revesby, Lincolnshire, was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the vehicle as it crashed into a field.

He died from his injuries despite Lutman's efforts to give him first aid.

Lutman flagged down a taxi driver and called 999. When police arrived he was still trying to save his friend.

Mark Knowles, prosecuting, said Lutman admitted to being the driver and was overheard to say: "What have I done, I've killed my best friend."

Tests later showed he was nearly two-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit, with a reading of 84 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, compared with the legal level of 35.

The court heard Lutman was an "exemplary student" with no previous convictions.

Alison Summers, mitigating, said a custodial sentence would inevitably lead to the end of his university career.

Miss Summers said: "Both were in high spirits. Mr Lutman says Mr Deer pressed the dual controls.

"There was some tomfoolery. Mr Lutman says Mr Deer pulled his arm away from the steering wheel. A short time later, he lost control and went into the field."

The court heard Mr Deer's mother, Christine, who sat in the public gallery during the hearing, did not blame Lutman for the crash and met him the day before he appeared in court to be sentenced.

Miss Summers said: "It is testament to Christine Deer that she does not blame the defendant when he blames nobody but himself."

Lutman, of East Keal Fen, Lincolnshire, admitted causing death by careless driving while over the drink-drive limit following the crash on August 30 last year.

Passing sentence, Judge Michael Heath said Mr Deer had contributed to the crash with some of his actions, but there could be no alternative to a custodial sentence for the driver.

Lutman was sentenced to three years and four months in a young offenders' institution, banned from driving for five years and ordered to take an extended driving test.

Student killed  'best friend' in crash

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