A hitman driver who claimed the lives of three people when he crashed into the back of another car while making Snapchat videos while accelerating at 140 mph has failed in his bid to reduce his nine-year sentence .
eith Lennon (23) killed mother and son Mary (82) and Kevin (58) Faxton of Bessbrook, Co. Armagh and Bryan Magill (24) of Newry, Co. Down when the three-litre Audi he was driving at 105 km/h exceeded The speed limit hit the Faxtons’ Peugeot 108 on the northbound lane of the N1.
Mr Magill was a passenger in Lennon’s vehicle when the two-car collision occurred at Carrickarnon, Ravensdale, Dundalk, Co Louth on 29 February 2020.
Lennon later pleaded guilty to three counts of manslaughter in Dundalk Circuit Criminal Court.
Judge Marina Baxter sentenced him in February 2021, saying Lennon turned his car into a “weapon” on the night in question. She also banned him from driving for 20 years.
Lennon, of Forest Park, Dromintee, Co Armagh, later appealed the severity of his prison sentence.
But in an ex-temporary judgment delivered today in the Court of Appeal by the President of the Court, Mr Justice George Birmingham, together with Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, Lennon’s request that the time he should be behind bars to shorten, rejected.
Mr Justice Birmingham dismissed the appeal, saying: “This was clearly a case where a significant prison sentence was inevitable.”
He said Judge Baxter could have placed the offense in the upper range for conviction “given the harm done and the level of recklessness involved.”
Noting that prior to the fatal collision, “a powerful car had been driven at a very high speed for long periods of time,” adding that what “distinguished” the case were the Snapchat videos the defendant had on his phone did while driving at excessive speed.
“It’s difficult to find the language to describe how inconsiderate that was,” Judge Birmingham said.
At a previous hearing, Patrick Gageby SC for Lennon told the court that “there aren’t very many cases of road homicide in the statute books”.
“There was no real settlement partner that we could bring to the court and in these circumstances we submit that there has been an error (in sentencing),” added Mr Gageby.
“This was not a premeditated crime,” he continued, adding that the main sentence of 14 years set by Judge Baxter “was excessive even considering the egregious circumstances of the case which resulted in the deaths of three beings.” .
While relatives of the victims sat on the public benches, Mr Gageby said his client wanted to apologize again for his actions.
“At sentencing, he ordered that an apology be made public, and he expresses the same sentiment today,” the attorney said.
Anne-Marie Lawlor SC, for the head of the public prosecutor’s office, said the sentence imposed was fair and at the discretion of the judge.
Ms Lawlor told the court that the applicant not only filmed the Audi’s speedometer with his phone while driving, but also sent the recordings to others while he was still behind the wheel and speeding.
Ms Lawlor said Lennon took two Snapchat videos in the car before it crashed into the other vehicle and that both clips lasted 14 seconds in total.
This is the “decisive factor in the case,” said the lawyer.
“The car [Lennon was driving] was strong and he had no insurance to drive it,” the attorney continued.
In delivering sentencing, Judge Baxter “made a fair and fair assessment of the seriousness of the crime and of the applicant’s guilt,” concluded Ms. Lawlor.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/joyrider-who-killed-three-people-while-making-snapchat-videos-and-speeding-at-225kmh-fails-in-bid-to-have-jail-time-cut-41510848.html Joyrider, who killed three people while filming Snapchat videos while driving at 145 mph, failed to get his prison sentence reduced