Stormont logjam ‘hinders death driver sentence’ increases

Peter Dolan, whose son Enda was killed by a drunk driver in Belfast in 2014. Photo: Pacemaker
Peter Dolan, whose son Enda was killed by a drunk driver in Belfast in 2014. Photo: Pacemaker
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A campaigner against death by dangerous driving says the log-jam at Stormont is hindering NI from adopting stiffer sentences from GB.

On Thursday Charles Hugh Macartney (20) from Manse Court in Newtownards, was jailed for 14 months for driving with excess speed and killing Dean and Sandra Weir. The couple’s daughter, Katie, said afterwards that the sentence was like “a kick in the teeth”.

Speaking about her case yesterday, campaigner Peter Dolan noted that the maximum sentence for death by dangerous driving is only 14 years in NI compared to life in GB. His son Enda (18) was killed by a drunk driver who was given 4.5 years in jail.

He said the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a sentencing review in 2016 and he has met with officials three times but they are still “no further forward” in increasing sentences. He added: “Our son Enda doesn’t have a voice now but I will be his voice until we get this concluded.... the sentencing has to be increased.”

The Department of Justice said a consultation will happen soon but any legislative changes “will be dependent upon ministerial and assembly decisions”.