York & North Yorkshire

Speeding teenager detained for boy's death in York

John Smith
Image caption The court was told of Smith's previous convictions

A speeding teenager who hit a 10-year-old boy and left him dying in the road as he fled the scene has been detained.

John Smith, 18, wept as he was sentenced at York Crown Court for causing the death of Sean Hamilton by careless driving last October.

The court heard Smith, of Lynwith Lane, Carlton, was driving a Ford Transit van at 47mph in a 30mph zone when he hit Sean on Holgate Road in York.

Simon was sentenced to 30 months in a young offenders' institution.

He was also banned from driving for five years.

The court was told the "lively and engaging" youngster was hit as he crossed the road after a trip to the cinema with his 12-year-old sister and two friends.

After the collision, Smith got out of his vehicle and was thought to have looked at the dying boy, before running away from the scene with a friend and a relative.

The next day he handed himself into police but initially refused to accept he was driving too fast until a report into the collision concluded otherwise.

The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst said that if Smith had observed the speed limit there was a chance the collision could have been avoided.

'Devastation caused'

He told him: "You were driving too fast. Too fast to allow young Sean to react and too fast to give yourself any chance of avoiding him.

"There was then a quite dreadful collision in which Sean was struck by your vehicle, he was dragged beneath the wheels."

Image caption Sean was pronounced dead at York District Hospital after being treated by paramedics at the scene

The judge said Sean's sister and her friends went to help Sean while in "stark contrast" Smith fled then scene with "self-preservation" in mind.

He added: "You had neither the maturity, the courage nor the decency to check on Sean's welfare or to face up to the devastation your careless driving had caused.

"Rather than stop to help you and your two passengers simply abandoned your van and ran off into the night."

Smith pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.

He entered guilty pleas to two further charges of failure to stop at the scene and failure to report the accident.

The court was told Smith already had three points on his licence for using a mobile phone while driving and convictions for robbery and a non-dwelling house burglary.

In mitigation, Taryn Turner said Smith was full of genuine remorse and fled the scene in "blind panic".

She added: "He is devastated by what has happened here. That is something he will have to live with and come to terms with as is the case for the family who have lost their son and brother."

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