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Two SE1 youths sentenced after Rolls Road toddler death

Two Bermondsey youths were on Friday sentenced at the Inner London Crown Court for offences relating to the death of 19-month old Billy Donnelly in Rolls Road in October 2006.

Billy Donnelly
Billy Donnelly was aged just 19 months when he was fatally injured in Rolls Road SE1.

Lewis Zotiades and Andrew Alhmamda, both now aged 15 and both from the Bermondsey SE1 area, pleaded guilty on 20 July.

Lewis Zotiades was accused of causing death by dangerous driving; aggravated vehicle taking; failing to stop after an accident; driving other than in accordance with a licence and without insurance.

He was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment for death by dangerous driving, 18 months for aggravated vehicle taking (to run concurrently) and disqualified from driving for 10 years.

Andrew Alhmamda was accused of aggravated vehicle taking. He was given a 12-month detention and training order and disqualified from driving for 4 years.

"At the time of this incident, a very young man was attempting to control a large, powerful car," says Sgt Paul Sanders of the Collision Investigation Unit. "The outcome was a tragedy for a local young family.

"It is an example of the very serious consequences that can happen when children see taking and driving away a vehicle as a challenging pursuit.

"Sharon and Dennis lost a dearly loved son and it is not an exaggeration to say the whole community was deeply affected by the events of that afternoon."

What happened on 20 October 2006

At around 1.20pm a green Jeep Wrangler was driving west down Rolls Road, near the junction with Marlborough Grove, when it hit a tree and then a pushchair.

Billy Donnelly was seated in the pushchair. His mother and two brothers were with him at the time – his ten-week-old brother was in the baby seat section of the pushchair underneath him and the older brother was walking alongside. They were coming home from a meeting at Eveline Lowe Primary School.

Billy was taken by ambulance to Royal London Hospital where he died shortly afterwards. The baby was also taken to hospital and treated for a bump to the head and later discharged.

A post-mortem showed Billy died as a result of multiple injuries, including a head injury, extensive depressed skull, skull fracture & skull bruising, fractured pelvis, ribs, femur and a ruptured spleen.

The Jeep had contained two male suspects who ran away after the collision.

Alhmamda was arrested in the vicinity shortly after the incident. Later that day Zotiades was arrested at an address in Southwark.

Police examined CCTV footage taken from a wide area around the scene. In several frames Zotiades can be seen in the driving seat of the stolen jeep.

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