Killer driver to appeal sentence

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne


Wednesday 10 March 2021 6:42

THE driver of a car who killed three people is to appeal his sentence.

21-year-old Keith Lennon, from Forest Park, Dromintee, was jailed last month for nine years for causing a fatal crash which claimed the lives of three people in Co Louth last year.

The two car collision occurred on the N1 at Carrickarnon, Ravensdale, Dundalk, Co Louth, on February 29 2020.

Mary Faxton, 82, and her 58-year-old son Kevin Faxton from Bessbrook were killed in the crash

Bryan Magill, 25, from Newry , who was a passenger in the car Lennon was driving also died in the collision.

Lennon had pleaded guilty to three counts of manslaughter.

Yesterday, a family member of one of the victim’s spoke of his utter dismay that Lennon was to appeal his sentence.

“The family liaison officer informed us on Friday that he (Lennon) was appealing the sentence handed down to him.

“If anything the sentence he received was very lenient considering his actions resulted in the deaths of three people.

“Now this individual is going to put the families through more hell as if they haven’t suffered enough.

“This latest development is just another nightmare which we are going to have to deal with.

On passing , Judge Martina Baxter described the collision as "horrific".

Judge Baxter said Keith Lennon had caused terrible losses and people cannot be brought back.

She said the car had been driven at speed and it was a car with a powerful engine which Lennon later admitted he was pushing to its maximum.

Judge Baxter said the message must go out that innocent people are losing their lives on a regular basis as a result of gross negligence, usually on the part of young men.

She said such driving, such distractions, and such gross negligence will not be accepted.

She described Lennon as reckless, immature, over-confident "showing-off" in this high powered vehicle. The vehicle was essentially a weapon, she added.

In mitigation, she said she was taking into account his guilty plea which prevented a trial, he had no previous convictions and was remorseful.

She sentenced to him 10 years in jail for each count of manslaughter, to run concurrently with the final 12 months suspended.

She disqualified him from driving for 20 years.

At a sentencing hearing earlier this month Dundalk Circuit Court heard how Keith Lennon was uninsured at the time of the crash. None of the occupants were wearing seatbelts.

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