Pair sentenced for death of Taunton schoolgirl


Today at Taunton Crown Court, Leonard Jones was sentenced to seven years and Leanne Burnell to 18 months in prison, having both been convicted of causing death by dangerous driving after their high speed car chase caused the death of 13-year-old Amy Hofmeister.

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. Although it was Jones' car that struck Amy, 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.

"Before I made the final charging decision, I took part in a police reconstruction which indicated Burnell's car was doing around 60 when she was overtaken by Jones who was travelling at about 80 at the time of the crash. The speed limit in that area is 30 miles per hour.

"Those who use the streets like a race track without regard to the safety of others will be prosecuted. The Crown Prosecution Service is in regular contact with Amy's family and will discuss with them what further legal options are available."

Leonard Jones pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, but Leanne Burnell pleaded not guilty and was convicted by a jury at Taunton Crown Court after trial last month.

In addition to their custodial sentences, Jones has been 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.