A Lancashire driver has been jailed for causing the deaths of two teenage sweethearts in a crash. Bradley Clough was driving seven passengers in his five-seater car in Wiltshire when he skidded off the road, colliding with trees.
He was said by police to have lied about being blinded by headlights from an oncoming car after the crash in Tidworth, Wiltshire, on October 29, 2021. Engaged couple Jack Paolucci, 19, and Courtney Jennings, 18, who were serving soldiers, died at the scene.
Two other passengers suffered serious injuries. Investigators found the car was “overloaded” with passengers and a tyre was underinflated.
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On Thursday (February 8) at Winchester Crown Court Clough, 25, of Burnley Road, Lancashire, was jailed for three years for two counts of causing death by careless driving, Birmingham Live reports. It followed a week-long trial in December.
He was also banned from driving for three-and-a-half years and will be required to sit an extended driving test before being allowed to drive again.
‘We have some justice’
Following Clough’s sentencing hearing Jack and Courtney’s families released a joint statement which said: “As the two families of Courtney and Jack, we remain bound by the love they shared for each other and provide each other the strength needed to manage each day as one family. For our children, we will be forever proud and grateful you chose us to be your parents. We would like to ask parents to educate their children on the dangers of being in an over-laden car without a seatbelt.
“It is important too, when your child starts to drive, that they understand the responsibility the privilege of driving comes with and the essential requirement for maintaining their vehicle properly. If Courtney and Jack can help one other family not to suffer like we have, our loss won’t have been in vain.”
The statement continued: “It is still impossible to comprehend, understand or see a way forward without the light Courtney and Jack brought to our lives. Such a tragic night that has affected the lives of numerous families.
“Some of the heartbreak would have been eased by truth and remorse from Bradley for an action that cost us so much. But unfortunately, that was not to be.
“However, we are thankful that, after two years and three months, we have some justice and Bradley Clough gets the reflection time in prison it’s so clear he needs.”
Courtney was a private serving with the General Corps, Third Battalion of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, based in Tidworth. Jack was a lance corporal who had served two years in the First Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Couple ‘had their whole lives ahead of them’
Investigating officer Rachel Catling, of the serious collision investigating team at Wiltshire Police, said: “Clough’s actions were incredibly reckless and irresponsible, leading to two young people tragically losing their lives. Jack and Courtney, who were engaged, had their whole lives and promising careers in the army ahead of them.
“I would like to pay tribute to them and their parents who have behaved with dignity and respect throughout this lengthy process despite the significant amount of pain that they must be experiencing. Clough should have been well aware of how dangerous his car was to drive.
“Not only that, he lied during interview, claiming to have been blinded by the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. CCTV footage showed there was no other vehicle nearby at the time of the collision.
“I am pleased he has been jailed for his actions and I hope the families of Jack and Courtney can get some sort of sense of closure and begin to rebuild their lives.”
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