Parents of girl killed by speeding driver 'hurt and angry' as he's released halfway through sentence

·2 min read
COMPOSITE PICTURE - Aidan McAteer (L) & Violet-Grace Youens (R).  The family of Violet-Grace Youens have spoken of the
Aidan McAteer (left) was jailed for nine years and four months in May 2017 for causing the death of four-year-old Violet-Grace Youens by driving dangerously. (SWNS)

The family of a four-year-old girl killed by a speeding driver have spoken of their "hurt and anger" after he was released halfway through a nine-year prison sentence.

Violet-Grace Youens was mowed down by Aiden McAteer as he drove at more than 80mph in a 30mph in a stolen car.

Violet-Grace's grandmother Angela French also suffered life-changing injuries in the collision in St Helens, Merseyside in March 2017.

After the crash McAteer, who was 23 at the time, fled the scene with his passenger then went on the run, travelling to Amsterdam before finally being brought to justice.

He was jailed for nine years and four months in May 2017 for causing Violet's death by driving dangerously.

Violet-Grace and her grandmother were hit by a car driven by McAteer in May 2017, before he fled. (SWNS)
Violet-Grace and her grandmother were hit by a car driven by McAteer in May 2017, before he fled. (SWNS)

But the little girl's parents have spoken out after hearing that their daughter's killer has been released on license after just four years behind bars.

Writing on social media, her father Glenn said: "The justice system thinks just over four years for killing Violet is enough time in prison for what he took from Violet and us.

Read more: First picture of couple found murdered in their home days before Christmas

"As a family, we are absolutely devastated and cannot put into words how this has affected us. It’s a never-ending nightmare.

"I wish I knew the words needed to express the hurt and anger that we feel."

McAteer's passenger Dean Brennan was released from prison in
McAteer's passenger Dean Brennan was released from prison last year. (SWNS)

He said McAteer's licence includes an excusion zone, meaning he should not enter the Borough of St Helens, Huyton, Prescot and Whiston, and added: "All I can ask is that if anyone sees him in the exclusion zone below please report it and help make sure he goes back where he belongs.

McAteer's passenger Dean Brennan, who was jailed for six years and eight months for aggravated vehicle taking and assisting an offender, was released last year.

At the time of both men's sentencing, Violet's parents campaigned for the government to implement 'Violet-Grace’s Law', which could see dangerous drivers get life imprisonment, with a minimum tariff of 15 years.

Under their proposal, if more than one person is killed or injured in a collision, the perpetrators' sentences would have to run consecutively rather than concurrently, as McAteer’s jail term had.

The campaign received widespread support but is yet to become law.

Watch: How can I improve my mental health?

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting