Driver Ends 18-Hour Cocaine Binge by Running Over Two Young Friends
A UK man admitted to killing two teenage friends walking down the roadside after taking cocaine for 18 straight hours.
Richard Frost, 39, from Chelmsford, Essex, England, confessed in Cambridge Crown Court on Nov. 24 to killing 19-year-old Thomas Fletcher and Thomas Northam, 22, by dangerous driving. Frost also pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault and one of money laundering.
The accident occurred on Jan. 3, 2017, while Frost was driving through the city of Chelmsford at speeds of up to 117 miles per hour during an 18-hour cocaine binge.
Frost swerved across the road and drove over the grass beside the road, headed in the wrong direction, and smashed his BMW X5 into the two young men from behind. Frost drove on about 250 feet after hitting the pair, then drove into a field, got out of the car, and fled carrying a suitcase containing £72,000 ($96,000 ).
The fatal crash took place on the B1091 motorway in Yaxley, Suffolk, about 70 miles northwest of Chelmsford, according to The Mirror.
The crash occurred around 11 a.m. local time. Police found Frost asleep at his mother’s home in Chelmsford at 10:45 that night. They found the suitcase full of money in the home’s garden.
‘Exceptionally Prolonged Course of Dangerous Driving’
According to prosecutor Jonathon Polnay, the fatal accident was the result of “an exceptionally prolonged course of dangerous driving,” Cambridge News reported.
Polnay told the court that Frost had started his cocaine-fueled escapade the prior morning, when he picked up a pair of passengers, Tracy Anderson and James Archer, in Essex, some 60 miles northeast of London.
The trio drove about 175 miles north to Grimsby, by the Humber River, halfway up the English coast, doing cocaine all the while. From Grimsby they headed south to Lincolnshire, then further south to Peterborough.
The trio stopped at a service station in Peterborough, where Frost attacked Anderson and abandoned both passengers, proceeding on alone. Peterborough Today reports that Frost drove over Anderson’s leg as he left.
Onlookers reported Frost’s driving to the police. One person described him as “driving like a nutter.” Another called 999 (the British equivalent of 911) and said, “If he doesn’t run into someone or kill someone it will be a miracle.” A tape of that call was played in court.
Witnesses described Frost driving down the breakdown lanes and overtaking other cars by crossing the center line and driving into oncoming traffic, the Guardian reports.
Witnesses report that Frost stopped near a fast-food restaurant and tried to unsuccessfully change a tire. He then drove off with a partially deflated tire.
After hitting the two young men, Frost drove on another 100 yards, then turned off into a field and fled on foot, the Independent reports.
Prosecutor Giles Beaumont told the court that bystander Stefon Mills called 999 and then said to Frost, “You can’t get away, you have to stop.”
Mills then followed Frost to a house in Yaxley. Frost entered, then exited. When he came out and saw Mills still there, Frost punched Mills and ran off.
Prosecutor Jonathon Polnay told the court that Frost had “consumed class A drugs while driving, he did not stop at the scene, he was on police bail for a very serious offense at the time,” Cambridge News reported.
He added that Frost was “driving dangerously, erratically and at dangerous speeds” after “having taken cocaine for the previous 18 hours” and had been awake for more than 30 hours.
Prosecutor Polnay emphasized that Frost wasn’t out of control when he hit the pair of pedestrians because “Frost remained in a degree of control as the car remained on the offside grass verge for 50 meters [165 feet.]”
This raises the issue of whether Frost deliberately ran down the two young men.
Out on Bail From a Murder Charge
Frost was not unknown to the Essex County legal system. He already awaiting trial for multiple crimes, including murder.
Prosecutor Beaumont told the court Frost was free on bail for charges murder, money laundering, and alleged domestic violence when he killed the two youths in Yaxley.
The Heart website reports that Frost was arrested on Dec. 2, 2013, for an incident which took place on Nov. 29 of that year in which a 17-year-old boy was run down by a man in a BMW X5, who then stabbed him twice.
Frost’s accomplice in that crime, a 22-year-old male, was also arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
Showed No Emotion
Frost was arraigned via a video link from Chelmsford Prison, where he is being held. He showed no emotion throughout the proceedings, which were attended by family members of the two murdered men, according to the Independent.
Circuit Judge David Anthony Farrell, Queen’s Counsel, set Dec. 20 as the date for sentencing. In the meantime, Frost will undergo a complete psychological evaluation
Judge Farrell told Frost, “Custody is inevitable in this case, and significant custody.”
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