Leanne Burnell found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving


Today at Taunton Crown Court, Leanne Burnell was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. Last year, the Crown Prosecution Service authorised Avon and Somerset police to charge Leanne Burnell and Leonard Jones jointly with this offence in connection with the death of 13-year-old Amy Hofmeister.

Leonard Jones has already pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance. They are both due to be sentenced at a later date.

Commenting on behalf of the CPS, District Crown Prosecutor, Dean Lampard, said: "Leanne Burnell and Leonard Jones were driving separate cars when Amy was killed. Jones was the driver of the vehicle that struck Amy, but in accordance with CPS policy on prosecuting cases of dangerous driving, I took the decision that Burnell should also be prosecuted because her actions significantly contributed to Amy's death.

"Amy Hofmeister and her friend were riding their bicycles along the cycle path on Blackbrook Way in Taunton at about 7.30pm on 15 June last year when she was killed. The prosecution have always contended that Burnell and Jones were racing each other in their cars at high speed when Jones lost control of his vehicle, which then mounted the curb and hit Amy and her friend.

"Although nothing can ever compensate Amy's family for her tragic death, the Crown Prosecution Service hope the outcome of today's hearing may help them come to terms with their sad loss."