Essex

Speeding driver who killed teenager has jail term cut

Charlotte Blackburn
Image caption Charlotte Blackburn had been walking along a pavement with a friend

A driver who lost control of his speeding car and killed a 17-year-old pedestrian has had his jail term cut by three years by the Appeal Court.

Ryan Ellmore, 20, of Devon Way, Harwich, admitted causing the death of Charlotte Blackburn by dangerous driving in a collision on 25 May 2009.

He was jailed for eight years at Chelmsford Crown Court in January 2010.

Appeal Court judges in London ruled that the jail term was too long and reduced it to five years.

The court heard that Ellmore, an electrical engineer, had ignored his friends' repeated warnings not to get behind the wheel and drove at double the speed limit, hitting Miss Blackburn as she walked along a pavement.

Miss Blackburn, of Fronks Road, Dovercourt, died soon after she was hit by Ellmore's car, while walking on the pavement with a friend in the High Street, Dovercourt.

Ellmore's lawyers argued the eight-year jail term was excessive, saying although the case was "very bad", it was "not the worst" example of death by dangerous driving.

Image caption Ryan Ellmore, 20, of Harwich, worked as an electrical engineer

Allowing the appeal, Mr Justice Maddison, sitting with Lord Justice Elias and Judge Anthony Morris QC, said: "This was undoubtedly a very serious case and the judge was faced with a difficult sentencing exercise.

"He was acutely aware, as are we, of the dreadful effect which this has inevitably had on all those close to Charlotte Blackburn.

"A significant custodial sentence was inevitable. However, in our view, the sentence passed in this case was too high."

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