A MOTHER of three downed vodka shots with a teenage boy before crashing her car and killing them both.

Ricarda Chapman, 25, had drank four pints of Guinness and vodka with 17-year-old Lewis Gardner-Smith at a pub.

After leaving the pub together Miss Chapman, who was two and a half times the drink drive limit and had only a provisional licence, lost control on bend on a country road.

The pair died when the car flipped and ploughed into a garden on the A281 near Lower Beeding on April 18.

An inquest at West Sussex Coroner’s Court in Crawley heard Miss Chapman had sneaked out of her house in Covert Mead, Handcross, unknown to her partner, to meet the teenager.

Robert Jays, a friend of Lewis who saw them in the Plough Inn in Lower Beeding, said in a statement: “Around 8.30pm she came into the pub and met Lewis. She was drunk and all over the place. When I left she was buying him vodka shots and her car was parked outside.

“I had met her a couple of days before the accident at the pub with Lewis.”

Aron Marsh, Miss Chapman’s partner and father of her children, said he did not know the teenager and did not give her permission to drive his car. He had allowed her to drive as a learner under his supervision.

He said in a statement: “I went to sleep after putting the kids to bed, there was no conversation about where she was going that night.

“We had our ups and downs but our relationship was good. When police told me there was a male passenger, I had no idea who he was or that she was going out.”

The crash happened at about 10.40pm. Miss Chapman clipped the kerb while negotiating a bend on the 60mph road. After oversteering, the Vauxhall Meriva left the road and flipped into a garden.

Susan Weston, who owned the house, said: “I was in bed when I suddenly hear the sound of a car. The loud engine noise made me think the car was going fast.

“The car went through the hedge and made a sickening noise as it cartwheeled through the garden. I remember thinking this is a bad one.”

Mrs Weston discovered Miss Chapman’s body lying on the grass and later the body of Mr Gardner-Smith, of Sandygate Lane, Lower Beeding, underneath branches.

Toxicology reports revealed Miss Chapman was two and a half times the limit with 196 milligrammes of alcohol per 100millitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrammes. The report also found historic traces of cocaine in both of them.

Forensic crash investigator PC Ian Lumbard said the pair, who were not wearing seatbelts, were ejected through the passenger window and that forensic evidence showed Miss Chapman was driving.

He said: “Responsibility must lie with Miss Chapman. It can safely be suggested alcohol impaired her driving skills alone, or with lack experience resulted in lack of control of the vehicle and their untimely deaths.”

Assistant coroner Joanne Andrews ruled the deaths were due to a road traffic collision.