Zackary Blades: Darryl Anderson admits death by dangerous driving after car crash that killed eight-month-old baby boy and his aunt

A man who killed an eight-month-old baby boy and his 30-year-old aunt after crashing his car into theirs has admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Darryl Anderson, 38, was at the wheel of his Audi Q5 when he drove into a Peugeot 308, killing Zackary Blades and Karlene Warner, on the A1 in County Durham on 31 May.

Zackary's mother, Shalorna Warner was driving the Peugeot at the time of the fatal collision between Chester-le-Street and Durham at around 3.15am.

She suffered minor injuries, Durham Police said.

Anderson, of Clarell Walk, Thorpe Hesley, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, appeared at Durham Crown Court via video-link from prison and pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Around 30 grieving relatives were in the public gallery to hear him make his admission.

Denial of weapons possession

Anderson denied unlawfully possessing a knife and an axe at the time of the crash and those not guilty pleas were accepted by the prosecution.

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After the crash, Shalorna Warner and Zackary's father, Jack Blades, paid tribute to their son.

"I'm so sorry you never got to grow up," they said.

"Our little Zack - mammy and daddy love you so much, you didn't deserve any of this. You were such a happy, cheeky boy.

"I am so sorry this has happened - our hearts are truly broken. We will never forget you, you will always be in our hearts."

'Very difficult hearing'

The family also paid tribute to Ms Warner, saying: "How do we put into words to describe the amazing mother, partner, daughter, sister, granddaughter, auntie, niece, and friend Karlene was?

"You light up every room you walked into like the bright shining diamond that you were. You had so much to look forward to in life and that has been taken."

The family was only told some distressing details about the crash after it was known Anderson would plead guilty, Judge Joanne Kidd said.

They will have time to process what they have learned before they make victim statements ahead of what she called a "very difficult hearing" for them next week.

When the judge asked Richard Dawson, defending, if he had any comments to make, he replied: "Only to express our sympathy and condolences to those who have been bereaved in this case."

Anderson was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing, which will take place on 9 July.