A regional daily used its front page to highlight its patch’s “anger” at a drink and drug driver who killed a six-year-old girl.
The Stoke-on-Trent daily, The Sentinel, called the six-year prison sentence imposed on John Owen an “insult” to the memory of his victim Sharlotte-Sky Naglis.
Owen, 46, was almost twice over the drinking limit, had cocaine in his system and had been using his mobile phone while driving when he hit the child and his father Kris as they drove home from store.
The Sentinel yesterday splashed the sentencing of Owen, which prompted Sharlotte’s mother Claire Reynolds to leave Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court in disgust after hearing it.
Editor Marc Waddington told HTFP: “Sharlotte was six when she died in June last year. John Owen could be out of jail by the time she was 10.
“It was immediately clear from the reaction to the sentencing that people felt Owen had not been punished enough for his crime.
“We felt it was important to reflect the anger and frustration felt not only by Sharlotte’s family, but by the entire community at large who have been so deeply affected by the senseless loss of such a special little girl. .”
Owen, who had a previous drunk driving conviction, had pleaded guilty to death for dangerous driving at a previous hearing.
Speaking to The Sentinel, Ms Reynolds said: ‘It’s an insult. He won’t even serve half of Sharlotte’s lifespan
“We feel like our hopes have been built, the way the judge said his previous drunk driving offense from years ago was on point.
“They recently increased the penalty for dangerous driving so people can now get a life sentence. That’s how serious it is recognized as.
“I know he couldn’t have received this, but it’s just disgusting.”