Leeds & West Yorkshire

Owen Wightman death: Peter Renshaw jailed for five years

Peter Renshaw
Image caption Peter Renshaw admitted causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene

A motorist who caused the death of a six-year-old boy has been sentenced to five years and three months in prison and banned from driving for six years.

Peter Renshaw, 22, of Emley, Huddersfield, admitted causing the death by dangerous driving of Owen Wightman on 18 June 2011.

He was hit while playing near his home in Kettlethorpe, Wakefield.

Renshaw also pleaded guilty to failing to stop at the scene and failing to report an accident.

Family 'devastated'

Leeds Crown Court was told that Renshaw had been driving at 57mph in a 30mph zone and that Owen was carried 75ft (23m) down the road.

Renshaw took three days to turn himself in to West Yorkshire Police, the court heard.

Image caption Owen Wightman was playing with a friend when he was struck by the car

Judge Geoffrey Marson told Renshaw there were aggravating features to the case, in particular his failure to stop at the scene.

He said Renshaw had shown a "certain amount of remorse" but that it was difficult to accept his submission to police that he thought he was travelling within the speed limit.

He added that Owen was a much-loved boy whose death had "devastated" his family.

In a victim statement, Owen's mother Joanne Wightman said she had struggled to make sense of what had happened since her son's death.

"I have an empty space in my life which was once filled by my baby boy, like a jigsaw with a piece missing," she said.

'Pain and grief'

Speaking about the day of the accident, Mrs Wightman said: "As I got to where Owen was I could see he was laid on the floor, his head towards the kerb edge of the grass verge.

"There were people around him, they appeared to be working on him as if they were doing CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation].

"I could see it was Owen. I wanted to get to my baby, to cuddle him and make him well, but my legs were weak. As much as I tried to make my way to him I couldn't get any closer to my son."

Mrs Wightman said her "pain and grief" at Owen's death had not subsided.

"Although I know they say time is a great healer, I can say that time will not heal my wounds, it will not make me forget," she said.

Sentencing Renshaw, who had completed his second year at university when the accident happened, Judge Marson said Owen's family would be affected by the tragedy for the rest of his life.

"I have no doubt Owen's family will say at least you will have a life to come back to," he added.

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