For an unlicensed driver who killed a 13-year-old boy after losing control in a blind corner while doing nearly three times the speed limit, his jail sentence has been increased by the Court of Appeal.
Liam Wilson, who was uninsured and had never taken a driving test, was driving at 105mph on a 30mph road when he lost control of the £ 250 Jaguar car he had bought just three days earlier.
The 21-year-old hit Jack Worwood, who was on the phone with his grandmother near Wigan on July 7 around 4:30 pm while walking to friends to play soccer.
Wilson fled the scene without trying to help.
Jack’s parents Andrew and Catherine Worwood later went looking for him and found paramedics fighting to save his life on the streets of Old Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield.
A day later, he died in their arms in the hospital after suffering catastrophic injuries to his head and chest.
Judge Graeme Smith jailed Wilson, formerly of Livingstone Street, Ashton-in-Makerfield, for four years in September after pleading guilt at Bolton Crown Court for causing death by dangerous driving.
But the attorney general’s office referred the verdict to the appeals court as excessively lenient.
At a hearing in London on Friday, Lord Justice Haddon-Cave – sitting with Ms Justice Cutts and Mr Justice Foxton – said: “In our opinion, the minimum sentence that should have been handed down in this case was five years’ imprisonment.”
The Court of Appeal heard that Wilson had about 100 yards to make an emergency stop, which, according to a collision investigator, “could have saved Jack’s life.”
Deanna Heer, Representative of Attorney General Michael Ellis QC, told the court: “The offender made a conscious decision to increase his speed as he entered the Old Road and knew he was approaching a corner with restricted visibility.
“He knew the way and his driving became more dangerous because of his decision to do this despite the wet conditions and the fact that he did not make an emergency stop.”
She said that Wilson – who was driving the car with his younger brother – “also endangered his passenger’s life.”
The court heard that Wilson told the author of a preliminary report that he had stepped up “because he thought he was being chased by a police officer.”
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Neil Ronan, who represented Wilson, referred to “the harrowing nature of his upbringing” and the fact that his heroin-addicted mother died while in custody, adding that Wilson had “shown genuine remorse.”
He said, “He’ll visit this again for the rest of his life.”
Lord Justice Haddon-Cave increased Wilson’s sentence, saying, “Jack Worwood was walking innocently down the sidewalk near his house when he was hit by this car and died tragically as a result.”
The judge said it was “pertinent that Liam Wilson ran off without helping the deceased and in an effort to avoid arrest, then made a determined effort to avoid arrest.”
He added that Wilson admitted “that he made the decision to drive the car because it was raining,” despite not having a driver’s license and the car having no MOT.
The judge also increased his driving ban from four years to six and a half years, effective after his release.
In a statement after the hearing, Attorney General Mr. Ellis said: “Wilson’s dangerous driving behavior killed an innocent young boy on his way to play football.
He fled the scene after the crash and showed little remorse.
“No punishment can repair the damage Wilson has done, but I hope the decision of the Court of Appeal today puts an end to the victim’s family.”