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CPS asks Attorney General to reconsider Leanne Burnell's sentence
1:30pm Friday 17th August 2012 in Taunton
A MOTHER’S campaign for a longer prison term for a driver who caused her daughter’s death has received a boost.
The Crown Prosecution Service has asked the Attorney General to reconsider ‘on the grounds of undue leniency’ the 18-month sentence handed to Leanne Burnell last month.
Burnell, 21, of Bishop’s Hull, was jailed after being found guilty of causing the death by dangerous driving of 13-year-old Amy Hofmeister on Blackbrook Way, Taunton, in June 2011.
Leonard Jones, 42, of Mulberry Close, Taunton, was jailed for seven years after admitting causing Amy’s death by dangerous driving and two further charges.
Jones was driving the car that struck Amy but Burnell, who is eight months pregnant, was charged because she initiated a race by driving off from a restaurant in front of him at high speed.
Amy’s mother, Jane Hofmeister, appealed to Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC for a review of the case hours after Burnell’s sentencing.
Thousands backed her on our website and on Facebook.
And this week a CPS spokesman told the County Gazette: “The CPS has brought the Leanne Burnell sentence to the attention of the Attorney General’s office for his consideration on the grounds of undue leniency.”
Mrs Hofmeister expects to hear within days whether Mr Grieve is sending the case to the Court of Appeal.
Referring to the CPS decision, she said: “This adds more weight to my campaign.
“The judge sentenced below the recommended range of four to seven years.
“He let Amy down but the CPS and the police haven’t let her down.
“Leanne Burnell instigated the car race with Leonard Jones – if there had been no race, Amy would still be here.
“Also Burnell lied to police, pleaded not guilty and forced a trial and lied in the witness box.
“I believe she deliberately got pregnant to get a more lenient sentence and it worked.
“I think 18 months is ridiculous. The courts have a second chance to put right a wrong.”