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Whitehurst given ten years for manslaughter

Travis Lowe

The brother of Travis Lowe has described cradling his sibling in his arms as he died in hospital several days after a motorcyclist chased him into the path of an oncoming van.

Terencio Lowe laid bare his family’s devastation in a victim impact statement that was read to the Supreme Court yesterday, as Keythio Whitehurst was jailed for ten years for the manslaughter of Travis Lowe.

Whitehurst pursued Mr Lowe through the back streets of Southampton at high speed on his motorcycle, causing the 23-year-old to collide head-on with a van travelling in the opposite direction.

In July, a jury unanimously found Whitehurst, 21, guilty of manslaughter — a crime that prosecutors said was “almost murder”.

Terencio Lowe described in his victim impact statement how he broke down and cried when he saw his brother in the hospital after the crash on July 26, last year.

He said he stayed by his brother’s side in hospital until he died seven days later.

“After several days in ICU, they said he was improving,” Terencio Lowe said. “It was after 10pm and I was in the visitors’ room by myself. I just felt like there was nowhere else for me to be.

“Moments later, I got a call that my brother’s condition had taken another turn. I rushed into the ICU; his blood pressure was going down.

“I held him so tight, just as if he was my son. I cried so hard. It was the scariest moment I had ever faced; my brother died in my arms.

“To this day, I feel pain my brother is not here and it hurts me because he (Whitehurst) has never shown any remorse for his actions, to Travis, or to my family.”

Terencio Lowe added: “Travis did not deserve this tragedy; no one deserves to have their life cut short.

“I pray justice is served; this is the worst thing. All I want is closure for this case.”

Victim impact statements written by Mr Lowe’s father, Terence Lowe, his mother, Nordia Pownall, and his grandmother, Jeanette Lowe, were also read to the court during yesterday’s sentencing.

Terence Lowe said: “To not hear him call my name breaks my heart. He was my baby; I just cannot believe he has gone.

“He left a message on my phone before he died and I just keep replaying it so I can hear his voice. I don’t sleep well now; I never dreamt I would have to bury my son.”

Ms Pownall described her family’s disbelief at her son’s death.

“My family cannot understand why this happened; he did not deserve this,” she said.

“Travis is in my dreams; I keep thinking this whole thing is just a dream. Unfortunately I have to cherish the memories I have of him in my heart for ever.”

During the course of the trial, prosecutors had maintained that Whitehurst was “on the hunt” for a target when he left Boaz Island on the afternoon of July 26 and drove east.

CCTV footage taken from police cameras showed him set off in pursuit of Mr Lowe as Mr Lowe turned into Camp Hill Road and then chase him all the way to Southampton Rangers Sports Club, through the car park and up on to Horseshoe Road.

Further footage taken from a private residence on Horseshoe Road captured the high-speed pursuit and the moment Mr Lowe careered into the front of the van.

Whitehurst could then be heard on the recording swearing and laughing at Mr Lowe saying: “Ha, ha, die you b***h,” as he lay stricken on the road.

He later bragged to his friends that he had “made Travis go down” after chasing him through Southampton.

In one WhatsApp chat found on his mobile phone, he says: “Yeah, he was knocked out ... I just hope he dies ... one less n***a to worry about even though he a b***h.”

The court heard that Whitehurst was linked to the membership of the West End gang, MOB, and was looking to work his way up the ladder, while Mr Lowe had historic links to the rival Parkside gang,

Jurors heard Mr Lowe suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of the collision.

Road collision investigators estimated that the motorcyclists must have been going at least 53km/h during the pursuit over Camp Hill.

Whitehurst never took the stand to give his version of events, and his lawyer did not dispute that he was the man on the motorcycle behind Mr Lowe.

Yesterday, when asked if there was anything he wanted to say before sentencing, Whitehurst simply replied: “No, my Lady”.

Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons described Whitehurst’s pursuit of the victim as “persistent and relentless” adding: “Because he was trying to escape from you, he met his death.”

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases.