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Ixworth man George Mills could stand trial after deaths of Bury St Edmunds pair William Smedley and Jake Paxton

A 19-year-old man accused of two counts of death by dangerous driving might have to wait until next February to hear his fate.

George Mills, of Stow Road, Ixworth, was charged after an A14 collision on Boxing Day in 2017, which caused the deaths of Bury St Edmunds pair Jake Paxton and William Smedley – both 18.

Illness meant Mills was unable to attend a hearing in Ipswich Crown Court this morning (Tuesday, September 10) and he is yet to enter a plea.

William Smedley and Jake Paxton. (16366515)
William Smedley and Jake Paxton. (16366515)

In his absence, Judge John Devaux confirmed a hearing would take place on December 17 ahead of a likely five-day trial from February 24 next year.

Paxton and Smedley were passengers in a grey Ford Fiesta that Mills was driving at around 9.30pm on December 26, 2017.

The hatchback collided with a black Vauxhall Corsa on the eastbound stretch, just east of junction 45. Smedley died at the scene, while Paxford was taken to hospital but died from his injuries.

Mills was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. The female driver of the Vauxhall Corsa was uninjured.

Families of the victims appeared in court today, expecting to hear a plea. Judge Devaux, however, confirmed that ill-health meant Mills was unable to attend.

The Judge added: “If he fails to attend the trial, the case will proceed without him.”

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