Woman jailed for eleven years for killing couple twerking in her car when she flipped it over

5 April 2024, 19:26

Adele Okojie-Aidonojie
Adele Okojie-Aidonojie. Picture: Met Police

By Kit Heren

A woman has been jailed for eleven years for killing a couple who were dancing standing up in the back of her car when she crashed.

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Adele Okojie-Aidonojie, 23, had been drinking and driving over twice the speed limit when she flipped her convertible Mini Cooper in Battersea.

Passengers Rida Boutjettif, 24, and Mary Macharia, 23, were hurled from the car and died at the scene.

Okojie-Aidonojie's boyfriend Ben Sidibe suffered a broken arm and a bleed on the brain.

Okojie-Aidonojie, from Bromley, south London, was found guilty of two charges of causing death by dangerous driving and one of causing injury by dangerous driving after a trial at the Old Bailey.

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Adele Okojie-Aidonojie
Adele Okojie-Aidonojie. Picture: Alamy

On Friday, Judge Richard Marks KC described her conduct as "sheer madness" adding: "Especially moments before the collision, your two passengers to your knowledge had been standing up dancing."

He rejected the suggestion that someone in the back had tugged her arm, saying: "It is clear there was one reason and one reason only for this collision, namely the grossly excessive speed you were travelling."

The judge also paid tribute to the victims' families who had been "utterly devastated at the untimely, tragic and needless deaths".

The court had heard how the defendant's Mini was going at least 62mph in a 30mph zone before it crashed on route from Clapham to Ladbroke Grove early on July 16 2022.

Mr Boutjettif and Ms Macharia were not wearing seatbelts in the back and had been filmed dancing just before the incident.

Prosecutor Sally Mertens said the defendant had gone with Mr Sidibe and Ms Macharia to pick up their friend, Mr Boutjettif, from a nightclub where he was working.

Mr Sidibe told police that Jamaican music had been playing and he had taken a video of the two other passengers "twerking" in the back.

Just before the collision, CCTV showed the Mini travelling at 62mph before its wheels started to grind against the raised kerbstones on Latchmere Road and the car overturned.

The defendant told a witness at the scene: "Don't call the police or ambulance. I'll get arrested."

She then claimed to a police officer the incident was a "hit and run".

Following her conviction, the defendant accepted her driving was dangerous, having previously claimed it was merely careless.

In a letter read to the court, she wrote: "I'm really sorry for both the loss of Mary and Rida.

"I'm really sorry they were taken too soon and this was down to me.

"I miss them both very dearly. There is not a day that goes by I'm not thinking of them."

Addressing the victims' families, she added: "I hope that now you have a sense of closure and that you have received the justice you were seeking. You deserve that.

"I know I will never forget how happy they made me. Hopefully one day you will find it in your heart to accept my apologies and condolences."

She apologised to her then-boyfriend, Mr Sidibe, saying she hoped he was able to move one adding: "I never meant to hurt any of you."

The victims' families expressed anger at the defendant's behaviour as well as sadness.

Ms Macharia's mother Tabitha said she enjoyed a "special bond" with her daughter who was "one in a million" - kind, caring, loyal, affectionate and hard working.

In a victim impact statement, she said: "She loved her family deeply. She had a very big smile and was always laughing."

She disputed the defendant's claim that she was her daughter's "best friend", saying she met her just once when she found her passed out at Ms Macharia's birthday party.