Killer driver Leanne Burnell barred from Taunton following her release

Leanne Burnell pictured attending her trial.

Leanne Burnell pictured attending her trial.

First published in News

A SPEEDING driver released after serving half of her prison sentence for causing the death of a 13-year-old schoolgirl will go back behind bars if she enters Taunton.

Leanne Burnell, 22, was freed last Thursday, 21 months into her 3½-year term for her part in the death of cyclist Amy Hofmeister in June 2011 in Blackbrook Way.

As one of the conditions of her licence, Burnell is banned from entering an area including Taunton and Bishop’s Hull, her home at the time of the crash and where her parents still live.

The order was imposed at the end of her stint in Eastwood Park women’s prison, Gloucestershire, where she gave birth 18 months ago to a daughter.

It will avoid Amy’s family and friends the trauma of coming face-to-face with one of the two people responsible for her death – Burnell and her former boyfriend, Leonard Jones, were racing each other in their own cars leading up to the tragedy.

The car driven by Jones, who pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, hit Amy, but Burnell was found guilty of the same charge by a jury who heard she was racing him along the 30mph stretch of road.

Amy’s mother, Jane Hofmeister, told the County Gazette: “Yes, I’ve been informed that Leanne Burnell has now been released having served 21 months of her 3½-year sentence. I have also been informed of an exclusion zone preventing Leanne Burnell from entering Taunton until January 2016.

“Sadly for myself, Amy’s brother and the rest of her family and friends, our life sentence continues.”

Burnell denied causing Amy’s death during her trial, but she was originally sent down for 18months after being found guilty - that was judged too lenient at appeal, when her sentence was more than doubled.

While Burnell, who was also banned from driving for two years at her trial, would be returned to custody if she breached the exclusion order, she could also go back to prison if she commits any other crime.

Jones, 43, who used to live in Mulberry Close, Taunton, told the court he would move to Leeds when he is released midway through his seven-year jail term in June next year.

Comments (6)

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12:48pm Thu 1 May 14

Mi_Coc says...

Shreks bride has no shame!

Still denies to this day her part yet she is let out early the mind boggles at british justice.
Shreks bride has no shame! Still denies to this day her part yet she is let out early the mind boggles at british justice. Mi_Coc
  • Score: 42

10:20am Tue 6 May 14

*Flick* says...

What a terrible injustice to Amy's family. My thoughts are with them, I cannot imagine how they must feel knowing this awful woman has been released already.
What a terrible injustice to Amy's family. My thoughts are with them, I cannot imagine how they must feel knowing this awful woman has been released already. *Flick*
  • Score: 15

5:46pm Thu 8 May 14

ANNE ELK says...

Fat ugly slag should never have been released.
Fat ugly slag should never have been released. ANNE ELK
  • Score: 8

10:21pm Thu 8 May 14

StevePeters says...

21 months for what she did? Utterly outrageous...
21 months for what she did? Utterly outrageous... StevePeters
  • Score: 11

9:04pm Tue 27 May 14

lord god almighty says...

Dont quite get the complaints about the sentence length here - the story claims the young mother didnt hit the victim. All she is guilty of is dangerous driving, for which a ban is usually standard sentence. Ive never heard of a custodial sentence for dangerous driving, or did she force the other driver into the victim ?
Dont quite get the complaints about the sentence length here - the story claims the young mother didnt hit the victim. All she is guilty of is dangerous driving, for which a ban is usually standard sentence. Ive never heard of a custodial sentence for dangerous driving, or did she force the other driver into the victim ? lord god almighty
  • Score: -6

10:47am Wed 28 May 14

*Flick* says...

Then you clearly do not know the whole story then Lord God Almighty.
Anyone who knows the entire facts of this, couldn't possibly think that she has served enough time for her contribution in poor Amy's death.
Then you clearly do not know the whole story then Lord God Almighty. Anyone who knows the entire facts of this, couldn't possibly think that she has served enough time for her contribution in poor Amy's death. *Flick*
  • Score: 2

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