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Face of killer driver David Lee Stewart handed three-and-a-half years' jail time for Enda Dolan death

Pressure builds over meagre three-and-a-half year term handed to father-of-three

Published 29/04/2016

David Lee Stewart
David Lee Stewart
William Ross Casement was a passenger in the car which knocked down the student
Student Enda Dolan was killed as he walked back to Queen’s Elms village
Enda Dolan with his girlfriend Sarah Graham before their school formal
Enda on the couch with all of his younger siblings
A portrait of the family together
Enda Dolan playing the guitar on stage at his old school

This is the face of killer driver David Lee Stewart who was given just three-and-half years in jail for mowing down 18-year-old student Enda Dolan

Last month, Stewart (31), of Gray's Park Avenue, Belfast, pleaded guilty to causing Enda's death by dangerous driving, as well as four other motoring offences, including dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen of blood.

Further Reading

'We told Enda he'd be safe in Belfast,' reveal Dolan parents  

On Wednesday he was handed a seven-year sentence, half of which will be served behind bars.

Stewart had consumed six pints of beer and four Jagerbombs and had taken drugs when he killed 18-year-old Enda Dolan in October 2014.

William Ross Casement (21), who was a passenger in the car with Stewart in the accident, escaped a custodial term and was given 50 hours' community service.

Releasing the picture of Stewart to the Belfast Telegraph, PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with Enda’s family.

"Enda’s death was the catastrophic result of someone who decided to drink and drive.

"There is absolutely no excuse for drinking and driving and there is no such thing as a safe amount. It ruins lives. Not just those of the people who are killed, injured or left to deal with the consequences, but also for those responsible."

Prosecutors have been urged to appeal the sentence given to Stewart.

A decision on whether to refer the matter to the Court of Appeal will now be taken by Barra McGrory, Northern Ireland's chief prosecutor.

The Dolan family said they were "disappointed and disgusted" at the sentences.

Read more:

'We told Enda he'd be safe in Belfast,' reveal Dolan parents as anger mounts over drink driver sentence  

Enda Dolan: Demand tougher jail term for killer driver, prosecutors urged

Enda Dolan: I'm sorry from bottom of my heart, says dad of passenger  

Yesterday, the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) confirmed it had been asked to investigate.

A PPS spokesperson said: "The PPS can confirm that we have received correspondence outlining concerns over the sentences passed in this case.

"The matters raised will be examined carefully in line with our protocols around unduly lenient sentences in the Crown Court."

It is understood that the request did not come from the Dolan family.

Enda, from Killyclogher in Co Tyrone, was an architecture student at Queen's University.

He had been walking to his student accommodation at Elms Village when a van driven by Stewart mounted a footpath and hit him. Stewart drove on for 800 metres with the teenager on the roof of his vehicle.

Stewart admitted a series of charges linked to the teenager's death, including causing death by dangerous driving.

He will spend three-and-a-half years in prison and the same amount of time on licence. He was also banned from driving for five years.

Outside court, Enda's father, Peter, said Northern Ireland's legal system was "a disgrace".

"We have been left with a life sentence," Mr Dolan added. "So many parents have stood in our shoes... and many more will in the future unless something is done to deter individuals from driving under the influence of drink and drugs."

Road safety campaigners also voiced their anger at the sentences. Gary Rae from the charity Brake said: "We share the disgust of Enda's family at the paltry length of this sentence.

"We must see tougher sentences to fully fit the crime to give families justice and also act as a proper deterrent."

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