CPS Welcomes Court of Appeal's decision to increase the sentence of Leanne Burnell


Today at the Court of Appeal, Leanne Burnell's sentence for causing death by dangerous driving was increased from 18 months to 3 years in prison.

The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, referred the sentence to the court as possibly unduly lenient after CPS South West raised the matter with him.

Commenting on the Court of Appeal's decision, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South West, Tracy Easton, said: "We hope this increase in sentence can bring Amy Hofmeisters family some comfort.Those who seek to use the streets like a race track without regard to the safety of others, will be prosecuted with the full force of the law."

Leanne Burnell and Leonard Jones were both convicted in June of this year of causing the death of 13-year-old Amy Hofmeister in June 2011. Jones pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, but Burnell pleaded not guilty and was convicted by a jury at Taunton Crown Court after trial.

Burnell and Jones were driving separate cars and racing each other through the streets of Taunton when Amy was killed. During the trial the court hear how Burnell's car was doing around 60mph when she was overtaken by Jones who was travelling at about 80mph at the time of the crash. The speed limit in that area is 30 miles per hour. Although it was Jones' car that struck Amy, Burnell's actions significantly contributed to Amy's death.

In addition to their custodial sentences, Jones was disqualified from driving for 7 years and Burnell for 2 years and both will have to pass an extended re-test before they are allowed to drive again.