Joyrider, 15, gets 12-month sentence for killing child
Thursday 23 December 1993
Judge William Wickham, at Liverpool Crown Court, said the sentence, the maximum he was allowed to impose on Andrew Ellis, 15, was 'derisory and inadequate, as Parliament has belatedly recognised'.
He told Ellis, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving: 'You have escaped a long sentence, which you deserve, by a few hours.'
Ellis, from Huyton, Merseyside, was banned from driving for 10 years. He had never driven before when he reversed at speed near his home and killed Kevin Downes on 15 August. The next day the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving was raised to 10 years.
When the accident happened, Kevin was walking with his brother Sean, 6, and their babysitter Sandra Cairns, 15, who was carrying a baby. Elizabeth Cliff, for the prosecution, said that Ellis and two companions had been using the vehicle as a 'plaything' after it was abandoned by other youths when it ran out of petrol.
'The vehicle was being raced up and down Pennard Avenue and they were taking it in turns to drive it. It was being revved, screeching to a halt and doing wheelies,' she said.
The car, driven by Ellis, reversed round the corner as he put his foot on the accelerator and it collided with the victims as smoke came from the tyres.
Kevin died instantly from head injuries. Sandra was trapped against concrete posts and suffered a broken ankle. She had the presence of mind to hold up Charlotte, the 10-month-old baby, as the car hurtled towards them and the baby suffered only superficial abrasions.
Deborah Gould, for the defence, urged the judge to impose a supervision order. She said Ellis would be released from custody after six months, whereas he could be under supervision of social services for three years and given counselling and specific assistance.
He was very remorseful and his family was hounded out of the area because of local reaction, she said.
'He had never driven before. Egged on by the others, he put himself behind the wheel and decided to have a go,' she said.
Two other youths who pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting Ellis in causing death by dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking have been released on bail and face trial in February.
Malaysia Airlines plane crash exposes alarming flaw in airline security: over one billion flights made last year without stolen-passport check
Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote in North Korean elections
Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Oil slicks in South China Sea ‘not from missing jet’, officials say
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
£3360 - £16800 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Cover Supervisor requ...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Male and Female PE te...
£130 - £161 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Do you have a qualificatio...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: The school is much la...