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‘It’s a miracle that nobody was killed or crippled for life’

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PEDESTRIANS feared for their lives as two cars driven by young drivers who were racing each other sped through rush-hour traffic.

And as this shocking CCTV shows, the drama came to a sudden end when a Golf GTI, driven by 19-year-old care worker Stephanie Dealey, smashed into the central reservation in Anglesea Road.

The car flipped up into the air and landed on top of a vehicle going the other way, damaging two others in the process.

The other driver, Sager Salem, a 20-year-old student at the University of Portsmouth, then drove off as if nothing had happened, leaving the scene of devastation behind him.

A judge at Portsmouth Crown Court described it as a miracle that nobody was killed or seriously hurt in the crash.

Dealey, who had two friends in her car, and Salem, at the wheel of his blue Volkswagen Sirocco with his 17-year-old brother by his side, began racing at the traffic lights in Alfred Road, by Unicorn Gate.

They sped into Anglesea Road doing double the 30mph speed limit shortly before 5pm on April 14 last year. In a matter of seconds Dealey lost control of the powerful car she had bought days earlier and ploughed into the barrier.

There were gasps from the public gallery as the footage was shown in court.

While no-one was seriously hurt, the woman driving the car crushed by the Golf suffered back pain and cuts and bruises.

Sentencing the pair for dangerous driving Judge Richard Price said: ‘This was an appalling and highly dangerous piece of driving.

‘You were racing each other and you have each made a conscious decision to do that. It was the rush hour, pedestrians had to jump out of the way.

‘It’s nothing short of a miracle that nobody was maimed, killed or crippled for life.’

Dealey, of Freshfield Gardens, Waterlooville, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and received an eight month jail sentence suspended for two years. While Salem, of Clarence Parade, Southsea, was convicted after a trial and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, also suspended for two years.

Both were disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Elisabeth Bussey-Jones, defending Salem, said the race had only gone on for a tenth of a mile. ‘These people are both of good character and they have made horrendous decisions over that 0.1 of a mile,’ she said.

Dealey’s barrister, Ryan Seneviratny, said she was sorry for what happened.

‘It’s had a greatly profound effect on her,’ he said.

Outside court PC Karen Stevenson, who investigated the crash, said: ‘It was an absolutely appalling piece of driving. It’s fortunate that nobody was seriously injured or killed.’

Judge hits out at ‘waste of taxpayers’ money’

THE judge criticised Sager Salem for wasting taxpayers’ money by refusing to own up to his part in the race.

Salem was found guilty of dangerous driving after a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court in April.

Yesterday Judge Richard Price said: ‘It was one of the poorest defences I have ever heard in a dangerous driving case.

‘I don’t understand, even now, what his defence was. He wasted thousands and thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money defending the indefensible.

‘A child of 10 could see these two were racing. It’s there for all to see on the DVD.’

He accused Salem of lying through his teeth when he claimed he did not realise Stephanie Dealey had crashed her car.

And the judge said he was not convinced Salem’s claims of remorse were true.

‘Your reputation for telling the truth is zero,’ Judge Price said.

‘It’s a long time since I have heard such utter rubbish.’

 
 
 

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