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Vic man jailed over crash that killed mate

AAP logoAAP 2/11/2016 Caitlin Guilfoyle

Ethan Wilson-Thorp has the name of his long-time friend Stephen Bourke tattooed on his forearm.

It will always remind him that - after using the drug ice - he was at the wheel of a car that killed 16-year-old Stephen in a crash that he otherwise cannot remember.

The 19-year-old Melbourne driver will now spend at least three years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of culpable driving causing death.

Wilson-Thorp had his probationary licence for just one month when he lost control of his week-old car in April last year.

It crossed double lines before shooting up an embankment, becoming airborne, hitting a tree and landing in the front yard of a Plenty home.

His 16-year-old passenger died days after he was taken to hospital.

A psychologist reported Wilson-Thorp, who had Stephen's name tattooed on his arm after the death, was genuinely remorseful.

Aged 18 at the time, he wasn't speeding, racing or disobeying road signs, but toxicology results showed he had a high concentration of methylamphetamine - the drug known as ice - in his system.

It was unclear how Wilson-Thorp was affected by the drug, but he knowingly got behind the wheel after having it, Judge Lisa Hannan said.

"You knew you were an inexperienced driver," she said.

Stephen would now be in his final year of school and about to turn 18, the Victorian County Court heard.

"Stephen never got to wake up," his mother, Sandra Bourke, said of her youngest child in a statement on Wednesday.

"We didn't get to say goodbye or (tell him) how much we loved him.

"No parent should ever have to bury their child."

Mr Bourke's father sees his son's face all the time.

"I still cannot comprehend I will never see him again in this life," John Bourke told the court, through tears.

"I ask myself, was it my fault? Could I have done something different?"

Wilson-Thorp, who says he can't remember the crash, was sentenced to five years and two months in jail - with a three-year non-parole period.

The judge also said Wilson-Thorp, of Diamond Creek, had excellent prospects of rehabilitation, which was in the community's best interest.

Authorities should consider moving him to a youth justice centre, Judge Hannan said.

The psychologist had deemed the teenager depressed, anxious and impressionable, and likely to be easily manipulated in an adult prison.

Wilson-Thorp's licence was also cancelled for three years.

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