On 13 April 2018, in the Crown Court at Maidstone before His Honour Judge Statman, the appellant pleaded guilty to three counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. On 8 May 2018, he was sentenced by the same judge to seven and a half years' imprisonment concurrent on each of the counts of causing death by dangerous driving and 3 years' imprisonment concurrent on the count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, a total of seven and a half years' imprisonment.
We consider that the judge was entitled to stand back and look at the overall seriousness of the offending. The aggravating features of the offending included the fact that the appellant caused three deaths, one of them a 16-year-old girl, and that, given that they were passengers in his car, this was a case where he could anticipate the possible deaths of those passengers. The fact that the appellant was driving at excessive speed whilst over the drink drive limit was, as the judge rightly identified, a very important aggravating feature. We do not accept Mr Smith's submissions that in taking that into account as an aggravating feature the judge somehow was guilty of double counting. As we said to Mr Smith during the course of argument, it seemed to us that many of his arguments in relation to the Guideline tended to adopt the approach of treating it as tramlines, which is an approach which has been deprecated time and time again in this court.