'Divvy' driver who ignored pleas to slow down jailed for 18 years for killing teens in Cramlington

Garry Robinson, jailed for causing death by dangerous driving
Garry Robinson, jailed for causing death by dangerous driving -Credit:Northumbria Police

A killer motorist who caused the death of two teenage passengers while high on cocaine and "driving like a divvy" ignored repeated requests to slow down in the moments before he crashed.

Garry Robinson killed Corey Mavin, 15 and Connor Lapworth, 18, who were in the back seat of his Suzuki Vitara when he lost control taking a bend at high speed and ploughed into an oncoming car head-on. He also left his 17-year-old front seat passenger and a 36-year-old woman in the car he hit seriously injured.

The crash happened around 9.30pm on December 22 last year on the A192 Hartford Bank, in Cramlington, Northumberland. Robinson was travelling north, on his way to Morpeth to go lamping, at excessive speed when he failed to negotiate a left hand bend, veering into the opposite carriageway and smashing into a Range Rover Evoque.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 17-year-old told police Robinson was "driving like a divvy" on the 60mph road, which runs between Cramlington and Bedlington and said he thought he saw "110, 120mph, something stupid between there" on the speedometer and he said he was bracing himself because he knew what was coming.

He said he told him to slow down and he heard Connor tell him to "slow down and stop showing off and stop being a f****** divvy" but he ignored their pleas.

As Robinson was jailed for 18 years, Corey's mum, Lisa Mavin, bravely went in the witness box to read her victim impact statement, saying she wanted to look Robinson in the eye. Fighting back tears, she said on a number of occasions: "Corey, only 15, just turned 15, forever 15."

She added: "I've lost my son and best friend and protector. His younger brothers constantly cry themselves to sleep.

"The last words we spoke were that afternoon on the phone. All I can recall was him saying 'love you mam'.

"Time is not a healer, in fact it's worse now. He will not achieve his dream to be a footballer.

"Corey's room is still the same way he left it. His Christmas stocking is still hanging up.

"It was not only Corey and Connor. A part of us all went with them too. We are all forever broken."

Judge Christopher Prince said he hoped media reports of Lisa's statement and the impact of the fatal crash might deter others from driving dangerously and save lives.

Lisa added: "It's absolutely broken a community. It's horrible, it's absolutely awful." She told the judge: "No sentence is going to be enough - you could lock him away for 100 years, that doesn't bring the boys back.

"Even the death sentence would not be good enough for what he has done. He has got kids himself, he needs to think how would he feel - he would want to kill them. I'm not a violent person. He has got to understand the hatred that there is towards him."

Connor's mum, Jen Lapworth, said in a victim impact statement that her eldest son had become a father six months before he died. She added: "I don't think I can put into words the devastation I feel every day. There is part of us missing, there is a deep hole in our hearts.

"Everything I write down doesn't seem enough. The physical pain is unbearable. Our hearts are broken and we think about Connor every day, multiple times a day.

"When I sleep I have nightmares. Every morning I wake up and the reality kicks in that Connor is not with us. I can't remember what it's like to not grieve."

She said she has an "image in my mind of Connor lying there, lifeless, cold and lonely" and added: "I died when he died. I can't hold him and tell him how much I love him because he took him away from me."

In the lead up to the crash, a woman said the Suzuki overtook her erratically and "far too fast" before disappearing from view into dust. Less than a mile down the road, she came across the scene of the crash and saw the Suzuki was on fire.

Another woman on the roads that night said she was also overtaken at speed and said the car "whizzed past her", went into the opposite carriageway and caused an oncoming vehicle to swerve out of the way. She described the driving as "erratic and selfish" and she then came upon the crash site.

Jenna Lapworth (left) and Lisa Mavin (right) lost their teenage sons in a crash before Christmas
Jenna Lapworth (left) and Lisa Mavin (right) lost their teenage sons in a crash before Christmas -Credit:Newcastle Chronicle

A retired GP and off duty police officers who came upon the scene tried to help the victims but Connor died at the scene. Corey died the following day. Both boys, who were wearing seatbelts, had suffered catastrophic injuries.

The 17-year-old suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured vertebrae while the woman driving the Range Rover had injuries including a fractured leg.

Robinson, 41, of no fixed address, who was also seriously injured, was found to be under the drink drive limit but was more than twice the driving limit for cocaine and ten times the limit for a breakdown product of cocaine. The court heard he had been on a "three day bender" before the fatal crash.

A crash investigation found the maximum speed any car could have taken the bend without losing control was 72mph and his speedometer was frozen at 76mph, which was the impact speed. The Range Rover was doing around 40mph and the driver did not contribute to the crash.

The court heard Robinson has five previous convictions, including two for drink driving in 2003 and 2006. He pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and two of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. Judge Prince said he was a dangerous offender and he was sentenced to 18 years in prison with an extended licence period of a further four years. He was banned from driving for life.

Lorraine Mustard, defending, said Robinson was also badly injured, including a fractured pelvis. She added: "In the pre-sentence report he expresses remorse. He tells me this is something he will never get over. He understands that will have little effect on the family of Corey and Connor but it's something that has played on his mind ever since as well."