Two men have been jailed for a combined total of 16 years for being involved in a hit and run which killed a four year old girl from St Helens
Violet Grace Youens was knocked down in a car driven by 23 year old Aiden Macteer, Prescot in March. Violet-Grace passed away in hospital on Saturday 25 March, a day after a serious road traffic collision on Prescot Road, St Helens, in which she and her nannie Angela French, 55, were seriously injured. Angela continues to recover in hospital.
Liverpool Crown Court heard McAteer ran past Violet-Grace Youens as she lay on the ground following the collision in St Helens in March. He then fled to Amsterdam.
Following a plea to hand himself in by his own mother Merseyside Police arrested and charged him with causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Today, at Liverpool Crown Court, he was sentenced to nine years, four months in prison.
Dean Ian Brennan, 27, who is also from the Prescot area, was charged with assisting an offender and aggravated vehicle taking.
He was sentenced to six years, eight months in prison.
Detective Inspector Jason Pye said: "Today McAteer and Brennan were sentenced for their part in the collision which led to the death of Violet-Grace.
"Their actions in leaving the scene of their collision following the crash and continuing to attempt to evade justice rightly shocked and angered the local community and the people of Merseyside as a whole.
"I hope that their prison sentences will give them time to reflect on the consequences of their actions – not only on Violet-Grace’s family but their own families as well.
"Although no sentence, however long, can ever bring Violet-Grace back I hope that it gives her family some sense of closure and allows them to instead reflect on the love and happiness their daughter brought them.
"I would also like to pay tribute to Violet-Grace’s family for their courage and dignity throughout this whole process and also to the team of detectives who worked round the clock to find the people responsible and bring them to justice."
TIME LINE OF EVENTS
Ford ST 64 plate stolen in Liverpool between 19-20 March
On 23 March witnesses say car was being driven around St Helens
Day of collision (24 March)
Around 11am McAteer and Brennan go to cafe 'Toast' in St Helens, Denton Green - seen by off-duty officer
At 12.30pm seen driving around in the car - McAteer driving - go to 'Dedicated Gym' in Huyton
14.55: Notification from automatic vehicle recognition - heading into St Helens area at bottom of Borough Road near Aldi on King's Street
Police car nearby is notified and comes onto the roundabout behind the vehicle.
Fiesta goes back up Brough Road, with Aldi on the left, the police car takes the first left - so not pursuing the stolen car.
It then pulls into the right lane, appearing to turn right down Ecclestone Street before letting out third male (questioned but never charged)
According to witnesses, Fiesta then mounts the curb, and goes through the red light and continues down Borough Road
Car then goes past others at 'Motorway speeds'
As Brough Road comes towards Prescot Rd, police able to see on CCTV the vehicle is going at 79-83 in a 30 mph zone
Car then goes through another set of red light just before joining Prescot Rd
Then, as Angela (who had been to pick Violet up from her aunty's) the Fiesta came around the corner.
Car travelling at 80mph - police on hand soon after 43 seconds later but was not in direct pursuit
As for incident, Violet was to Angela's left at pedestrian crossing.
Both were right by the curb, maybe only just stepped into the road - car swerved and mounted the curb - first hitting Angela and then Violet
Car hits a lampost 100 yards or so later before coming to a stop and spinning 180 yards
McAteer and Brennan then both climbed out of the driver's side - running off down Lincoln road with Violet laying just to their right-hand side