Belfast Telegraph

Family’s sentencing plea as death driver jailed

The grieving parents of a 25-year-old charity worker killed by a drunken hit-and-run driver in Londonderry last year have appealed for an increase in the sentences available to judges for such offences.

Martin and Elizabeth Gallagher made the appeal outside the Crown Court in Derry minutes after a 23-year-old man was jailed for three years without remission for causing the death of their son, Martin jnr, by dangerous driving on November 1 of last year.

Martin, who'd raised thousands of pounds for local charities by taking part in marathons, was killed instantly when a Volkswagen car driven by Jonathan Francis McGonagle, from Moyola Drive in Shantallow, struck him as he walked across Racecourse Road, less than a mile from his Sandale Park home.

The impact of the collision threw Mr Gallagher's body 33 metres along the road.

Mr Gallagher said: “It's not revenge we're looking for. We just want the legislators to re-examine the powers they've made available to judges and my door is always open to any politician who wants to talk to my family about that issue.”

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