A MAN who ignored his passenger’s pleas to slow down and killed three people in a devastating head-on crash has been jailed.

A court heard Kieran Dorsey, 24, of Shortlands, Basildon, was “showing off” when he ploughed his Volkswagen Caddy van into a Fiat Punto in Lower Dunton Road in July 2017.

On Friday, at Basildon Crown Court, he was jailed for a total of five and half years after admitting three counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of perverting the course of justice.

The court heard the driver of the Fiat – 57-year-old Philippa Izzard – was driving her sister and mother back from visiting Langdon Nature Reserve where they had been making plans for a commemorative bench for another loved one.

Dorsey was driving his work van with a colleague and was doing what investigators estimated was at least 50mph in a 40mph zone.

Sentencing Dorsey, judge Ian Graham said: “Your passenger noticed you were driving too fast. He became concerned and told you to slow down and put his seat belt on because he didn’t feel safe.”

Dorsey, a labourer, lost control of the van and crashed head on with the Fiat.

Philippa and her sister Amanda Stokoe, 61, were killed instantly. Their mother, Sheila Izzard, had been in the back of the car and was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

The 84-year-old remained in hospital until she died on August 29, 2017.

Immediately following the crash, Dorsey’s van overturned and rolled down the road, coming to a stop 25 metres away from the point of the collision.

Dorsey and his passenger exited the vehicle through the open front passenger window of the Caddy, and both were taken to hospital by officers as a precaution.

While at the hospital, Dorsey entered a hospital cubicle and attempted to bite the SD card from his dash cam in an attempt to dispose of the data, which proved unsuccessful.

Mitigating, Paul Raudnitz said: “He is fully aware that whatever sentence he receives he will never compensate them for their horrendous loss.

“Those were minutes in a life which is otherwise blameless.”

Judge Graham added: “As a result of your dangerous driving, three people lost their lives.

“This was not a short burst of speed but you had been driving for something like three quarters of a mile at excessive speed.

“There had been signs and a warning from your passenger which had been disregarded and who thought you were showing off.

“This case is a tragedy for everybody not least for you.”

Dorsey did not react as he was handed four and a half years for each count of death by dangerous driving to run concurrently and an additional year for perverting the course of justice.

He also received a driving ban of five years and eight months.

In tribute, Chris Curran, speaking on behalf of the family, said: “They had just left Langdon Nature Reserve, where they had spent the day with other family members planning a commemorative bench for a loved one in the reserve’s community sensory garden.

“What had been a joyous occasion, celebrating the life of Alan Izzard, became in a split second, a day of tragedy.

“Whilst we are pleased to have been spared the ordeal of a trial, we are frustrated that Mr Dorsey’s decision to face up to the overwhelming evidence of his guilt was not taken when he first received the details of the case against him.

“No sentence can undo the harm that he caused, not only to our family, but to his own nearest and dearest. There are no winners today.”

PS Steve Holmes of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “After analysing the road, our Forensic Collision Investigations Unit were able to determine that Dorsey was going over the speed limit, which was a 40mph, and was travelling somewhere between 52mph and 69mph.

“Dorsey’s actions that day have left a family devastated. Their three loved ones – Sheila, Philippa and Amanda – will never come home again.

“I hope that today’s sentence does some small justice to their memories, and allows the family to start moving forward after the past two years of anguish.”