Man admits killing two schoolboys on their bikes the day before trial begins

A driver who killed two schoolboys after knocking them off their bikes has changed his plea to guilty the day before he was due to go on trial.

Jack Hart’s BMW struck 10-year-old Steven Duffield and Mason Deakin, 11, as they rode on a flyover at Anlaby Road in Hull.

He was said to have been speeding at the time of the incident and had driven into a bus lane.

Hart, of Anlaby Road, Hull, was refused bail and remanded in custody after he left it until the day before a trial was due to start before he pleaded guilty.

 The lengthy delay greatly increased the anguish of the bereaved families.

He had been speeding at the time of the accident and had driven into a bus lane. He later removed a dashcam.

Hart, 32, had previously denied causing the deaths of the two boys on November 2, 2020 by dangerous driving.

The pair of best friends were riding their bicycles along a busy stretch of Anlaby Road near the East Yorkshire buses garage when the accident happened at about 6.10pm.

Both boys were taken to Hull Royal Infirmary but Steven later died.

Mason was kept in intensive care and had been transferred to Leeds General Infirmary, where he remained in a coma and on life support, but he died two weeks later.

Hart appeared before Hull Crown Court for a plea hearing ahead of the trial, which had been due to start on Tuesday.

His not guilty pleas to the charges were entered during an earlier appearance at the court in June.

Hart was represented for the latest hearing by Charlotte Baines, who said that the seriousness of the case we that fact that he contravened a bus lane and had been speeding before the fatal collision.

He at first did not accept that he had anything to do with a missing dashcam, although, after the case was stood down for Hart to give further details on this, Miss Baines later said that he did not now want to put in a basis of plea over his version of that matter.

She said that Hart had indicated that he would be changing his pleas to guilty a few days or weeks ago.

She asked for Hart to be allowed bail until the day of sentence so that he could sort out his affairs. She added that he had always attended previous hearings.

‘He has been on bail throughout,’ said Miss Baines. ‘There has been no difficulty with him surrendering to bail throughout the proceedings.’

She added that she wanted to collect character references and information from a ‘health specialist’ who had been working with him.

But Judge John Thackray KC said: ‘He has had two years to get his affairs in order. He has played the system and left it to the last possible minute. His plea has come over two years later than it should have done.’

Hart curled his lip and stared ahead when he was told that he would be remanded in custody.

 Judge Thackray said that Hart faced a ‘very significant sentence measured in years’.

Hart will be sentenced on Wednesday.

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