A MAN accused of manslaughter over the deaths of two teenagers following a collision in Gosport has appeared in court.
Flanked by two custody officers and wearing a blue round-necked jumper, Samuel Etherington spoke only to confirm his identity at Winchester Crown Court.
He had been due to enter a plea to two counts of manslaughter over the deaths of Olivia Lewry, 16, and Jasmine Allsop, 14.
Judge Guy Boney QC adjourned the hearing to allow further time for the case to be prepared.
Nicholas Haggan, prosecuting, said: ‘Due to the tragic nature of this case and the age of the defendant and the fact he is in custody we would very much like to invite the court to pencil in March 24 for the potential trial.’
Etherington, 20, an unemployed sports coach, was driving a green Honda Civic that collided with Jasmine Allsop, 14, and Olivia Lewry, 16, in Ann’s Hill Road, Gosport.
Jasmine, who lived yards from where the crash happened at 4.15am on November 3, died at the scene.
Mum Rosemary has told how she kissed her daughter goodbye as she lay dead in the road.
Jasmine’s best friend Olivia was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Portsmouth, where she later died.
Etherington, of Stoners Close, Gosport, was not injured in the crash.
Adjourning the hearing, Judge Guy Boney QC, addressing Etherington, said: ‘The case against you and indeed for you is still in the course of preparation. It is not possible to have a realistic hearing today.’
Etherington was remanded in custody.
He is due to appear at Winchester Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on January 30.
Last month more than 100 teenagers turned out to a music festival at Brune Park Community School in Gosport in memory of Olivia and Jasmine.
Friends and Jasmine’s brother Reece performed raps while others sang to raise money to pay for the funerals for the two girls.
As reported in The News, hundreds of people had earlier attended Jasmine’s Barbie pink funeral at Saint John The Evangelist Church in Forton Road, Gosport.