Belfast Telegraph

Heartbroken daughter of killer driver victims Dean and Sandra Weir says 14-month sentence a 'kick in the teeth'

Katie Weir leaves Newtownards Court after Charles Hugh MacCartney was sentenced to jail over the death of her parents by dangerous driving. Pic by Peter Morrison
Katie Weir leaves Newtownards Court after Charles Hugh MacCartney was sentenced to jail over the death of her parents by dangerous driving. Pic by Peter Morrison

A woman who was orphaned by a self-proclaimed "boy racer" killer driver wept in court today as the man who killed her parents was jailed for 14 months.

Ordering 20-year-old Charles Hugh Macartney to spend a further 14 months under supervised licence, Newtownards Crown Court Judge Geoffrey Millar QC also banned him from driving for five years.

Jailing Macartney, from Manse Court in Newtownards, Judge Millar told him that excess speed was “front and central” to the tragic accident which killed Dean and Sandra Weir on St. Patrick’s Day 2017.

“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.

“The events of the morning of St Patrick’s Day 2017 tell a different and sad story,” said the judge adding that the “harrowing” TV adverts from the DoE tell the message that “when you get behind the wheel of a car, you are driving a potential murder weapon, a killing machine.”

Married couple Dean and Sandra 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.

Prosecuting counsel Laura Ievers outlined how a dash cam seized from Macartney’s car showed he was driving at almost 90 mph when he lost control going around a bend on the Dunover Road, Ballywalter.

Tragically, Mr Weir (52) died at the scene as a result of the injuries he sustained, only to be followed by the passing of his wife Sandra, also 52, a month later as a result of deep vein thrombosis caused by the fractures she sustained in the crash.

Heartbreakingly, she died in the arms of the couples’ daughter Katie, their only child.

Speaking outside the court following the sentencing, Katie lambasted the sentence as a “kick in the teeth.”

“I just don’t think it reflects the fact that he caused the death of two people and certainly doesn’t deter other drivers from driving at excessive speed,” she said, commenting that she wishes she had died in the crash too.

“I think I would rather have been in that car - it would just be easier if mum was alive and I was dead because it’s so hard.”

The university graduate called for legislation to be changed to allow judges to impose life sentences on killer drivers.

“I think he should’ve at least received ten years,” she said.

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