Man admits killing woman in A13 crash by driving wrong way on main road while being chased by police

Kent University graduate Grace Payne was on her way home to Upminster in east London when her Uber was hit by Ashley Loveday Credit: Metropolitan Police

A man has admitted killing a young woman after driving the wrong way on a main road in a stolen van during a police chase.

Ashley Loveday, 38, was driving a Peugeot Boxer van when the collision happened on the A13 in east London, early on 25 November last year.

Grace Payne, 21, who had been a passenger in a Toyota Prius Uber vehicle, was killed in the collision.

The driver of the Uber, Sunder Ali, 59, was seriously injured but survived.

The van had failed to stop for Essex Police officers prior to entering the A13.

Police then followed the vehicle using the correct side of the road.

University graduate Ms Payne was said to be working at an architecture firm and had been on her way home to Upminster in east London after a night out with colleagues when the vehicle she was in was hit.

On Wednesday, Loveday appeared in the dock of the Old Bailey for a plea hearing.

He pleaded guilty to causing Ms Payne’s death and causing serious injury to Mr Ali by his dangerous driving on the A1306, Marsh Way, and A13.

Loveday, from Avondale Road, Canning Town, east London, also admitted to aggravated vehicle taking of the van on or before 22 November last year.

Judge Alexia Durran ordered a probation report to focus on the issue of how dangerous Loveday was to the public.

The facts of what happened were not aired during the hearing, but it was confirmed they would not be disputed by the defendant.

Loveday was remanded into custody until the sentencing on 9 March.

Loveday will be sentenced on 9 March Credit: PA

Judge Durran told him to expect a “custodial sentence of some length”.

In December after her death, Ms Payne's parents said: "Grace’s death has left us, along with the rest of her family and friends, devastated.

"We are struggling to come to terms with the fact that our daughter will never be coming home."How can we describe Grace? She made us proud in so many ways. She was caring, compassionate, bright, funny, bubbly - her friends always said that she had the ability to brighten up their day.

"When she walked out of a room, she left everyone feeling happier than when she had walked in. She always wanted to help, always wanted to make people happy."She loved children, and although happily working in HR, she said her long-term goal was to retrain when she reached 30 and become a primary school teacher.

"When she helped her Dad and brother, Jack, coach the juniors at Brentwood Cricket Club, she was usually entrusted with the youngest age groups, supplying cuddles whenever necessary.

"Grace graduated from the University of Kent this year with a degree in history and philosophy. She spent much of the summer travelling around Europe with university friends - trips to Italy, Greece, Sicily, Barcelona and Amsterdam.

"There were family holidays to Devon and Wales. She passed her driving test, celebrated her 21st birthday and started work with an architects firm in London which she instantly loved.

"It had been a very happy, exciting, busy year. She was a 21-year-old starting to live life to the full after the confinements of Covid."If Grace was out with a group of friends, it was always said she was the one looking after everyone else, making sure they would get home safely.

"Last week, she joined work colleagues on their regular Thursday night out. Tragically, she never made it home.”

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