Driver who caused death of Debbie McComb jailed for motoring offences

Laganside Court Building
Laganside Court Building

A 31-year-old man who served a prison sentence for causing the death by dangerous driving of a west Belfast schoolgirl, was yesterday jailed after appearing in court on motoring offences.

Henry Christopher Marley – whose address was given at HMP Maghaberry and who is formerly from Riverdale Park South in Belfast – will spend 15 months in custody and a further 15 months on supervised licence when he is released from prison for driving offences which were committed on March 3, 2013.

He was also banned from driving for 10 years.

The offences were committed whilst Marley was disqualified from driving – a ban which was imposed when he was jailed for causing the death by dangerous driving of 15-year-old Debbie McComb. The teenager died after she was hit crossing the Springfield Road in March 2002 by a stolen car driven by Marley.

Belfast Crown Court heard that on March 3 last year, police responded to a road traffic collision in the Dermott Hill Road area of the city during which a car crashed into two parked vehicles. Witnesses to the collision said that following the crash, the male driver ran from the scene.

It emerged the car belonged to Marley’s partner, who told police: “I didn’t let him drive. He took it before I even noticed.”

When he was arrested, Marley told officers he got into the car and drove as he was in fear of his life.

Passing sentence, Judge Gordon Kerr QC spoke of Marley’s “appalling driving-related record” but said that when he took the vehicle, Marley “may have felt threatened and tried to escape the threat”.