Face of man who killed baby boy and aunt after taking 'chilling' image on phone

-Credit: (Image: Durham Police/PA Wire)
-Credit: (Image: Durham Police/PA Wire)

This is the face of a drink-driver who killed a baby and his aunt after crashing into their car at 141mph.

Darryl Anderson, 38, was three times over the legal limit when he drove his Audi Q5 on the A1 at 141mph and collided with a Peugeot 308 on Friday, May 31. The 38-year-old failed to help Shalorna Warner as she desperately searched for her eight-month-old son Zackary Blades, who was thrown from her vehicle, out of his destroyed car seat and onto the opposite lane of the A1.

The devastating collision, which occurred between Chester-le-Street and Durham at around 3.15am, killed baby Zackary and Ms Warner's sister Karlene Warner. Durham Crown Court was informed that Zackary and Karlene, 30, were killed instantly in the crash that obliterated the rear of Shalorna Warner's car.

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Examination of the computer in Anderson's Audi Q5 revealed he had his accelerator pedal fully depressed and did not brake prior to the collision. He had taken a photo on his mobile phone showing his speed, the Peugeot could be seen in the picture, along with a collision warning light illuminated on his dashboard.

Anderson made up a story to the police, claiming that a hitchhiker was driving when his powerful SUV ploughed into Ms Warner's car. However, he later pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving at a hearing last week.

Prosecutor Emma Dowling said that a roadside breath test showed Anderson was almost three times over the drink-drive limit. The court heard that he had been drinking on the plane home from a holiday he cut short after his erratic behaviour caused his wife to leave separately. Police discovered an empty vodka bottle in his vehicle.

According to witnesses, he was seen driving erratically in the 20 miles from Newcastle Airport prior to the crash, and phone analysis indicated he had been using WhatsApp while driving. Sharlona Warner had gone to the airport to collect her sister who was returning from a holiday, with her son in the back of her vehicle.

At the station, Anderson, from Clarell Walk, Thorpe Hesley, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, confessed to officers: "I drove into the back of a car." He expressed his remorse, saying: "Sometimes mistakes happen. But I'm not a bad person."

Shalorna Warner, alongside her father Nigel and Karlene's partner Kieran Hutchinson, read out impact statements in court. She vividly described how her car was spun around, witnessing her sister gravely hurt, then desperately searching for her son, screaming his name, after the rear of her vehicle disintegrated upon impact.

Ms Warner recounted to the court how she was on the road screaming and looking for her son, as her sister lay seriously injured in the road. A lorry driver found Zackary on the opposite side of the carriageway.

Her words to the court were heart-wrenching as she said: "I knew instantly. I had to pick my dead baby up from the side of the road. I hugged him so tight, a hug I will never forget."

She expressed the extent of her loss, saying: "No words will surmount the irreparable hole that has been left in my heart and in my life."

Judge Joanne Kidd sentenced Anderson to 17 years and three months in prison and issued a driving ban for an additional 21 and a half years post-release. The courtroom was filled with about 50 friends and relatives of the two victims during the sentencing.

Judge Kidd said: "It is a chilling image. At the centre of the console is a warning sign, displaying a warning of impending obstacle. That obstacle was the Peugeot driven by Shalorna.

"I do not know why you took that picture… whatever the situation your attention had been further distracted from your driving. Your accelerator pedal was fully depressed at time of impact. Driving at 141mph. The photos of the scene are the stuff of nightmares.

"You played Russian roulette with every man, woman and child on that journey.”