Young disqualified driver admits Derby hit-and-run killing of teenager Keely Birks

A 27-year-old man has admitted causing the death of a 17-year-old in a fatal collision in Derby.

Dressed in a black zip-up top, Peter Petrie spoke only to confirm his name and enter his guilty pleas when he appeared over a link from HMP Peterborough into Derby Crown Court.

Keely Birks, who was 17-years-old, died in hospital after she was struck by a car at around 8pm on November 20, last year, in Harvey Road, Allenton.

A packed public gallery heard Petrie, of no fixed address, enter guilty pleas to causing Keely's death by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and without insurance.

Judge Shaun Smith QC apologised to those in court for not being able to sentence the defendant on the spot.

He said: "A case like this usually takes around two hours to sentence and I will need to hear written submissions from both the prosecution and the defence as to where they say it falls in the guidelines.

"The process is far more complicated than that.

"A significant sentence is going to follow and the maximum is 14 years for the most serious cases."

Addressing Petrie, Judge Smith said: "I am going to adjourn your case until Friday, I am not going to put this off.

"We need to grasp the nettle as the family (of Keely) need to have some closure in this case.

"You can appear in person if you wish or over the (video) link and until then I am remanding you into custody."

Following Keely's death, tributes were left at the site of the collision including flowers, candles, and written messages after a vigil took place which was attended by her parents.

Their tribute read: "Keely our precious, beautiful, funny, young daughter. Took too soon, forever in our hearts, mum, dad and family."

Another card at the scene said: "Rest in peace princess. You were taken way too soon I'm going to miss you so much. I love you lots Keely. It's your world."

A week after the killing, witness Jake Smith told of how he witnessed police telling Keely's parent that she had died.

The 20-year-old, of Shelton Lock, said: "On the night of the accident, I’d just left work, so I’d gone down Harvey Road and seen a car speed off quite rapidly.

"Further down the road there was a girl in the road, she got hit quite badly and was just a horrible thing to see.

"At that point I didn't realise that I knew the girl.

"The next day I found out it was a friend and it’s not the only accident that’s been on that road.

"No parent should outlive their child. Because I was a witness, I had to stand and watch her parents get told that their daughter had passed away.”

Petrie, who turns 28 tomorrow, February 2, was remanded into custody and is next due to appear at the same court to be sentenced on Friday afternoon, February 4.