Motorcyclist gets one year for killing girl

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The Independent Online
A TEENAGER was sentenced to a maximum 12 months' detention for killing a six-year-old girl while riding a motorcycle with flat tyres and no brakes, writes Jane Martinson.

Joseph Sheridan, 17, knocked down Emma Weaver as she played near her home in Frankley, West Midlands, last September. A police examiner said he had rarely seen a bike in such a dreadful condition.

The sentence, passed last Thursday, has provoked calls for changes in the law to give judges greater powers in such cases. The Conservative MP for Bromsgrove, Roy Thomason, is to refer the case to the Home Secretary.

Sheridan admitted causing death by dangerous driving. The sentence was the maximum possible for cases involving teenagers without a history of bad driving. He was also banned for four years.

Emma's father, Ian Weaver, 32, said after Sheridan was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court: 'It will make people think they have the legal right to go and kill someone. As soon as I open my eyes every morning I see his motorbike going through my daughter.'

His wife Penny, 28, said they would appeal against the sentence.

Sheridan had claimed that Emma suddenly appeared in front of him as he rode along a metre-wide tarmac path at 36mph.