A LORRY driver killed a schoolboy and a teacher as he used mobile phone apps at the wheel, a court has heard.

James Majury, 33, had used apps including medieval fantasy game Hustle Castle, Sky Sports and Facebook before being involved in a collision on the M58 at Bickerstaffe, West Lancashire, in January 2019.

One of the vehicles struck was a minibus carrying pupils and staff from Pontville School, a special educational needs school in Ormskirk. Pupil Joe Cairns, 14, from Radcliffe, Lancashire and staff member Anne Kerr, 50, from Southport, died.

Relatives of both victims were at Preston Crown Court as Majury entered guilty pleas to two charges of causing death by dangerous driving and five offences of causing serious injury.

Judge Robert Altham remanded Majury in custody and warned him he faced a lengthy jail term when sentenced on March 31.

Francis McEntee, prosecuting, said Majury, of Milton Road, Coppull, Lancashire was "voluntarily distracted" for a lengthy period up to and including the collision in which he reacted "no more than half a second" before impact.

James Ageros QC, defending, said: "He would like to express his profound remorse and regret for his actions and for their tragic loss."

Following the crash, close to junction three of the motorway at about 8.45am, tributes were paid to the schoolboy and Mrs Kerr.

Joe's parents, Steph and Andy Cairns, said: "Joe, my brave boy, a true fighter with a heart of gold. An amazing sense of humour and infectious smile, a true superhero."