Belfast Telegraph

Killed teen's dad welcomes new review of jail sentences

By Rebecca Black

The father of a young student from Omagh killed by a drink driver in Belfast has welcomed a review of sentencing in Northern Ireland.

There was shock earlier this year after David Lee Stewart received just three-and-a-half years for killing Enda Dolan (18).

Enda's father Peter, who has lobbied for longer sentences for dangerous driving, welcomed an announcement by Justice Minister Claire Sugden of a major review of sentencing.

The investigation will look at the legislative framework for certain categories of crime, the setting of tariffs for murder, the arrangements for unduly lenient sentences and the effectiveness of the current sentencing guidelines mechanism to enhance public confidence, consistency and transparency in sentencing.

"I think it is a way forward - it is something we have been pushing for," Mr Dolan said.

Justice Minister Sugden added: "Sentencing in the individual case is a matter for the judiciary and for the courts, and it is essential that their independence is maintained.

"Steps have already been taken by the judiciary to bring increased transparency and consistency to sentencing.

"I want to see if more can be done to increase public confidence, something which is of importance to the objective of providing an effective criminal justice system."

Belfast Telegraph

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