Owen Wightman’s killer driver jailed

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THE hit and run driver who mowed down a six-year-old boy and left him to die in the road has been jailed.

Peter Michael Renshaw was driving at almost double the 30mph speed limit when he knocked down Owen Wightman.

Owen Wightman

Owen Wightman

The 22-year-old student stopped shortly afterwards, examined the damage to his car and then sped off.

Despite frantic efforts to save Owen, he died in his father’s arms on Fishpond Lane, Chapelthorpe, last June.

Yesterday, the public gallery at Leeds Crown Court was packed with friends and family wearing Owen’s favourite colour – green

Prosecutor Patrick Palmer read out a summary of a victim personal statement from his mum, Joanne Wightman, in which she described her unimaginable loss.

He said: “She describes how in her life there is now an empty space that was once filled by Owen.

“She described it as a jigsaw with a piece missing.”

Mitigating, Richard Clews told the judge that Renshaw, of Grange Drive, Emley, was on his way to his parents’ house to deliver a Father’s Day card.

Renshaw claimed he did not realise he had hit anyone and carried on.

But three days later he handed himself in to police.

At an earlier hearing, collision investigators said Renshaw was driving his Fiat Seicento at between 56 to 57mph when he hit Owen, causing him to be thrown 23 metres.

He made no attempt to brake.

Renshaw stood emotionless in the dock as Judge Geoffrey Marson QC sentenced him to five years and three months and banned him from driving for six years after he admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

The judge said: “I note from the evidence that the manner of his driving after he had examined the damage and was fleeing the scene was referred to as ‘tanking on’ with his wheels over the centre line of the road. This had no thought to the additional anguish to Owen’s family.”

Judge Marson QC told Renshaw: “I accept that there is, in you, a certain level of remorse. Had it been full remorse you would have admitted earlier what you had done, not least in failing to stop and driving away.

“I accept that the events of that day will continue to effect you and you will carry it throughout your life.

“I have no doubt that Owen’s family would say at least you have a life to come back to.”

Renshaw was also given two 12-month driving bans to be served concurrently for failing to stop after the accident and failing to report it to police.