Northern Ireland

Lesley-Ann McCarragher: Driver Nathan Finn's jail term cut

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Media caption'Our hearts have been broken again'

A young driver who knocked down and killed a teenage jogger has won his appeal against the length of his jail sentence.

Nathan Finn, 20, of Keady Road, Armagh, was jailed for nine years for causing the death by dangerous driving of Lesley-Ann McCarragher, 19, in 2016.

In the Appeal Court, Finn's sentence was reduced by one year to eight.

The young woman's family called the decision "cruel", in a statement released afterwards.

They said they felt "devastated" and that "little value had been placed" on Lesley-Ann's life.

"Our hearts have been broken again," they said.

The McCarraghers called for a review of the sentencing framework.

"The system is very clearly slanted toward the offender. Victims - and those left behind to grieve in their absence - fall very low on the list," the statement said.

Defence lawyers had argued that the original nine-year sentence failed to properly take into account Finn's previous good character and remorse.

The Court of Appeal agreed.

In their judgement, the judges said: "We consider that the learned trial judge did not give credit for two significant mitigation factors."

Miss McCarragher was jogging along the Monaghan Road in Armagh when she was struck by a car which did not stop.

Despite being airlifted to hospital, the student died from her injuries.

Miss McCarragher was a former head girl at the City of Armagh High School.

Finn initially denied all charges against him, but later accepted causing death by dangerous driving and causing death whilst driving without a licence or insurance.

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