A 4-year-old girl was killed by a driver of a stolen vehicle and yet her parents were not allowed to read out parts of the victim statement as it might upset the killer.
The grieving father has criticized the criminal justice system for ‘letting his daughter down.’
Violet-Grace Youen’s parents were not allowed to read out parts of the victim statement, such as details of the girl’s injuries, in case it upsets the killer.
The young girl was walking home with her grandmother in St. Helens, Merseyside when she hit by a black Ford car in March 2017.
Mrs. Angela French, 55, was facing the possibility of amputation and may never have the chance to walk again.
The driver, 23-year-old Aidan McAteer, and his passenger 27-year-old Dean Brennan, ignored the body, fled the scene, and left the country.
McAteer pleaded guilty to causing the death of the 4-year-old girl by dangerous driving. He was imprisoned for 9 years and 4 months but could be eligible for early release.
Glenn Youens, the girl’s father, spoke out after a Merseyside MP said that the killer won the right to have parts of the victim impact statement changed.
“We were not allowed to show our emotions in court or to read the statement in full because it would be too upsetting for him to hear it. Violet-Grace was only four-and-a-half years old when she was killed,” Youens expressed.
“A lot of people don’t realise the victim’s family is not being put first. It’s as if we’re the ones who have done something wrong.
“We wanted McAteer to know from us what he did to Violet-Grace, but we weren’t allowed to because it wasn’t fair on him.
“No-one I know feels justice has been served or that he’s had anything like enough time in prison. I’m having to clean my daughter’s headstone while he’s counting the days till he gets home.”
McAteer’s sentence was reduced by 25 percent.
Mr. Youens added: “I’d rather it had gone to trial if it meant he’d get so much as another day in prison. What kind of society have we become that we accept this as normal?”
Speaking about the sections of the statement they weren’t allowed to read, Mr. Youens said: “McAteer should have had to hear that.”
McAteer’s passenger Dean Brennan, who helped him escape, was given a sentence of 6 years and 8 months.
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