Jail sentence for man who killed Co Armagh teen in hit-and-run

Lesley-Ann McCarragher. Pic: Pacemaker
Lesley-Ann McCarragher. Pic: Pacemaker

A young man who admitted killing a Co Armagh teenager in a hit-and-run incident more than two years ago has been jailed for four-and-a-half years and ordered to serve the same term on licence.

Lesley-Ann McCarragher, 19, was jogging along the Monaghan Road on April 9, 2016 when she was struck by a vehicle that failed to stop.

The teenager, a former head girl at the City of Armagh High School, was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast but died from her injuries.

Nathan Finn, of Keady Road in Armagh, initially denied all charges against him, but later accepted causing death by dangerous driving and causing death whilst driving without a licence or insurance.

The 19-year-old also admitted failing to stop and remain at the scene of the collision, or report it to the police.

A previous hearing heard how Finn, who was 17 at the time of the incident, had been racing another car and was trying to “undertake” it on the hard shoulder when the crash occurred.

Witnesses told police Finn’s Saab appeared to be racing “an older style” black Volkswagen Golf at speeds up to 90mph.

Sentencing Finn at Newry Courthouse yesterday, Judge Gordon Kerr told him he must serve a total of nine years - four years and six months in custody and the same period on licence.

He also disqualified him from driving for six years, and “until the extended driving test is passed”.

Finn was also ordered to pay an offender levy of £50.

The driver of the other car involved in the tragic incident was also prosecuted.

Damien Paul McCann, 30, of Lagan Road in Keady, was originally charged with causing Miss McCarragher’s death by dangerous driving, which he denied. However, he later admitted being involved in dangerous driving shortly before the crash.

Judge Kerr banned McCann from driving for a period of two years and fined him £500.

He was also ordered to pay an offender levy of £15.