Teenager's death shattered parents' world

CHARLOTTE Blackburn's devastated parents have spoken of how their world was “shattered” when their teenage daughter was killed by Ryan Ellmore.

James Hore

CHARLOTTE Blackburn's devastated parents have spoken of how their world was “shattered” when their teenage daughter was killed by Ryan Ellmore.

They were speaking after 20-year-old Ellmore was sentenced to eight years in a young offenders institution after he admitted causing the death of their daughter by dangerous driving.

Speaking outside Chelmsford Crown Court after the case yesterday, Neil Blackburn said his daughter was “beautiful, caring, fun-loving and popular”.

He said: “No sentence, however long, will change the fact that Charlotte has been cruelly taken from us at such a young age.

“She is always in our thoughts and our lives will never be the same without her.

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“Our world has been shattered and our sentence and pain will go on forever, whereas Ellmore will be able to start his life again.

“Charlotte's death has had a massive and devastating impact on her family, friends and the whole community of Harwich.

“She was a beautiful, caring, fun-loving and very popular girl.

“She had everything to live for and now we will never hear her laugh or smile again.

“We would like to say thank you to everyone who is supporting us through this very difficult time in our lives.”

After the court case Essex Police revealed the accident was one of the “worst” they had ever been involved with.

Inspector Steve Brewer, the senior investigating officer, said: “This was one of the worst crashes that we have investigated.

“Charlotte Blackburn was a young and vibrant girl with her whole life ahead of her and she will be sadly missed by her family and friends.

“Tragically, Charlotte stood no chance when she was struck by Ellmore's car as she walked on the pavement with a friend.

“Ryan Ellmore acted in a totally selfish and mindless manner.

“Having consumed a quantity of alcohol during the evening he chose to get behind the wheel of his car and drove with total disregard to the safety of any other person.

“Whilst travelling at excessive speed along High Street, Dovercourt, he lost control of his car, mounting the pavement and colliding with Charlotte, resulting in her death.

“Ellmore's car then crashed through a wall and hit a house. In a cowardly act he ran away from the scene and in my view deliberately attempted to frustrate the police officers investigating the crash that night.

“The sentence can never truly reflect the pain and loss that Charlotte's family has suffered, and continues to suffer.

“I would like to thank the many witnesses who came forward to assist police.

“Charlotte's death clearly touched the community and without their help our job would have been that much harder.

“I would also like to thank those officers who have worked extremely hard to ensure that the very best evidence was obtained, resulting in this conviction.”