A teenager has admitted causing the death of a motorist and seriously injuring the man's passenger, both by dangerous driving.

Edward Alan Crawford also admitted a charge of aggravated vehicle taking, relating to the Range Rover Evoque he was unlawfully driving at the time of the fatal accident, said to have been taken at 5.30am that day, in Evenwood.

He was told to expect to receive a lengthy custodial sentence when he next appears before Durham Crown Court, next month.

The 18-year-old defendant appeared at the court today (Wednesday, November 1) via video link from HMP Doncaster, where he is being detained on remand.

He is charged with causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking, all said to have taken place on the A688, Staindrop Road, near West Auckland, on Thursday September 28.

Both the deceased, who was driving an Audi A1, and his seriously injured passenger, were said to be aged 63.

Crawford’s counsel, Tony Davis, said the charges could be put to his client.

The defendant, of West View, Elswick, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to all three counts.

Judge James Adkin said the case fell into the bracket of those in which a Probation Service pre-sentence report should be prepared on the defendant, where they have few, if any convictions, but when they are facing a lengthy term of custody.

A date for the sentencing hearing was agreed by all parties, to be staged at the court on the afternoon of Friday, December 15.

Addressing Crawford, Judge Adkin told him: “You have now pleaded guilty to all three charges and the next stage is for you to be sentenced.

“Individuals like you, who face fairly lengthy prison sentences, ought to have a pre-sentence report.”

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Judge Adkin also asked for victim personal statements to be compiled in time for the sentencing hearing from the families of the deceased and his seriously injured passenger.

The judge told Crawford: “You understand, of course, the sentence you’ll get will be prison and it will be a long custodial sentence.”

He remanded the defendant to remain in custody pending the sentencing hearing in six weeks.