Northern Ireland

Charles Macartney: Car killer's sentence 'not justice'

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Media captionKatie Weir said she hoped Charles Macartney would get at least 10 years for killing her parents.

A woman orphaned after her parents were killed in a crash caused by a 20-year-old who has been jailed for 14 months has said justice has not been done.

Dean and Sandra Weir, both 52, were killed in a crash on Dunover Road in Ballywalter on St Patrick's Day 2017.

Their car was struck by one driven by Charles Hugh Macartney.

Macartney, of Manse Road, Newtownards, lost control of his car while taking a bend in the road at almost 90mph.

"I feel our justice system lacks any justice whatsoever," Ms Weir told BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra programme.

Image copyright Weir family
Image caption Katie Weir pictured with her parents Dean and Sandra

"I think it was a let-down in comparison to the rest of the UK.

"I just feel if we take Northern Ireland as a whole of the UK, I feel it was unjust and that the lives of Northern Ireland people matter less in terms of people killed on the roads by dangerous driving."

Mr and Mrs Weir were on their way to meet friends in Dublin when Macartney lost control of his Nissan Micra car and crashed into their Suzuki Alto. 

Zest for life

A prosecutor told the court a dash cam seized from Macartney's car showed he was driving at almost 90mph when he lost control. 

Mr Weir died at the scene, while his wife died a month later as a result of deep vein thrombosis caused by the fractures she sustained in the crash. 

She died in the arms of Katie, their only child. 

Image caption The case was heard at Newtownards Crown Court

Ms Weir said her parents were outgoing people with a zest for life, who had a lot more planned for the lives.

"There was a lot more that they wanted to see and do around the world," she said.

Ms Weir added that while no sentence would ever bring her parents back, the sentence imposed on Macartney was "too lenient" and would not act as a deterrent to other young drivers.

Macartney is to spend a further 14 months under supervised licence and was banned from driving for five years. 

The judge told him that excess speed was "front and central" to crash. 

"It's a sad fact that day and daily, young men - 17, 18, 19, 20 - get behind the wheels of cars and believe that, by virtues of their age and lack of life experience, they're invincible and believe that they can control their own destiny, can control the vehicles that they drive and that there are no consequences," he said. 

"The events of the morning of St Patrick's Day 2017 tell a different and sad story,"

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