A 20-year-old motorist today denied the manslaughter of two teenage girls who were mown down and killed by his car.

Samuel Etherington allegedly hit and killed best friends Jasmine Allsop, 14, and Olivia Lewry, 16, in the early hours of Sunday, November 3 last year.

Prosecutor Nicolas Haggan QC told Winchester crown court: "This is a serious case."

Etherington, of Gosport, spoke to confirm his name and enter his pleas as he appeared in the dock this afternoon.

He was charged with causing the girls' deaths after the green Honda Civic he was driving collided with the girls in Gosport, at about 4.15am.

The girls had been with two male friends sitting on a wall when the incident happened.

Jasmine died at the scene while Olivia was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Hants, where she later died.

Etherington was known to the schoolgirls and is friends with them both on Facebook.

Etherington - wearing a blue and white striped crew neck Fred Perry jumper - was today flanked by two custody officers for the ten minute hearing.

He was remanded in custody until February 27, when he will appear at court for another hearing.

A trial date has been set for March 24, and is expected to last ten days.

Jasmine's mother Rosemary, 37, has told how she kissed her daughter goodbye as she lay dead in the road just yards away from her home.

Floral tributes to the two girls were laid near the scene of the crash.

Dozens of tributes to Jasmine and Olivia have also been posted online on social media websites.

Olivia had been a pupil at St Vincent College in Gosport since September, where she was studying a diploma of vocational education.

Jasmine was a student at Brune Park Community School in Gosport where Olivia had also previously studied.

Etherington previously worked at Butlins and recently qualified for his FA football coaching badge.