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A 40-year-old man has been sentenced after killing two ‘of the most vibrant, fun-loving, beautiful girls’ in a collision in Frome earlier this year.
Thomas Lenthall, of no fixed address, was jailed for 10 years today (Thursday 14 December) at Bristol Crown Court after pleading guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
The court heard how Lenthall had been driving in excess of 100mph along the A361 Frome Bypass on Tuesday 25 July when his car, a Audi RS6, collided with a VW Polo.
Madison and Liberty North, known to their loved ones as Maddie and Libby, had been celebrating Maddie’s graduation, which was due to take place the following day, with family at their home nearby.
The pair had popped out to get some soft drinks from the local shop when their car collided with Lenthall’s.
Maddie and Libby, aged 21 and 17, tragically died at the scene.
In a powerful victim personal statement from their parents, Verity and Jason North, said: “Maddie, her sister Libby and the whole family were so excited and proud she was graduating as a teacher, achieving her childhood dream.
“Family were invited, the party was arranged, everything felt perfect.
“On the evening of the 25th, Maddie and Libby popped out for a Coke, and they never came home.
“It is every parent’s worst nightmare – their lives were taken. Our innocent, precious daughters, at such young ages, were just beginning to live their best lives and fulfil their dreams.
“In a heartbeat, everything changed. They had been killed by the reckless dangerous driving of another.”
Lenthall was taken to hospital with serious injuries and was later arrested and charged.
At the time of the collision, he had been overtaking another car when he collided head on with Maddie’s car.
Sentencing, His Honour Judge James Patrick said the world of the North family had fallen apart at their desperate loss. He ordered that Lenthall should serve a minimum two-thirds of his sentence, and disqualified him from driving for seven years.
Lead investigator from the Collision Investigation Unit, Carl Derosa, said: “This is a tragic case where two young ladies, with their whole lives ahead of them, were cruelly taken too soon from their parents and family.
“The reckless actions of one man has left two parents without their children and a hole in their lives which no sentence will be able to fill.
“I can only hope this sentence will go some way to providing justice for Maddie and Libby’s family.
“My team worked through the night to bring this case before the courts so quickly and we thank everyone for their support in making this sentence possible.
“I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to Jason and Verity and I hope Lenthall understands the ramifications of his actions that day.”