Sunday 25 February 2018

Crash victim's mum 'let down' by driver's sentence

Rita Martin and Martin
Doyle at a memorial in
their home to their
daughter Lena
Rita Martin and Martin Doyle at a memorial in their home to their daughter Lena
Lena Doyle
Driver Danielle Smith was not jailed

Brendan Furlong

THE heartbroken mother of crash victim Lena Doyle says she feels "let down" by the sentence handed down to the driver involved in the accident.

At Wexford Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, Danielle Smith (19) of 48 Hazelbrook, Bridgetown, Co Wexford, who had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death of Lena Doyle at Rochestown, New Ross, on April 21, 2010, was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence.

Lena's mother, Rita Martin, said she felt "let down" by the criminal justice system. "My lovely daughter is only worth an 18-month suspended sentence. We, as a family, have gone through extraordinary, life-changing heartache and pain after losing our 22-year-old daughter in a car crash.

"Back in November of last year we were led to believe that the driver of the car was going to receive a prison sentence, however short, for the judge told her to make arrangements for the care of her child. I feel we got no justice from the verdict. My own family, my partner's family, we are all devastated.

"Now she (Smith) can go home and get on with her life, of that I've no doubt.

"We wanted her taken from her child, for however long, just to show her what's it like."

At the November sitting of the court, the court heard that Smith's Honda Civic went out of control on a bend, and collided with steep reinforced corrugated posts and wire, about 5km outside New Ross. Passenger Lena suffered fatal injuries. The court was also told that the back brakes on the car were defective.

The judge said it was a very sad case. He handed down an 18-month suspended prison sentence while also disqualifying the accused from driving for 20 years. He also bound her to keep the peace for five years in her own bond of €100.

Irish Independent

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