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Thursday, 28 November, 2002, 16:57 GMT
Life sentence for killer driver
Plymouth Crown Court
Kenny was sentenced at Plymouth Crown Court
A driver high on drink and drugs who hit and killed a pedestrian "for fun" has been jailed for life.

Thomas Kenny, 33, drank lager, smoked cannabis and took a heroin substitute on the night his car struck father-of-two Neil Pearson.

The car hit Mr Pearson, 44, and scooped him on to the bonnet as he walked along Plymouth's Cliff Road.

Kenny then drove for 70 yards before braking suddenly.


Your reactions immediately after and in this trial demonstrate a total lack of remorse or even pity

Mr Justice David Steel
Mr Pearson, of Rosyth in Scotland, died in hospital as a result of his injuries.

He had been in Plymouth after working at the Devonport dockyard when he was hit and killed in June 2001.

In the incident, another pedestrian, Stuart Gallagher, received a glancing blow as Kenny's car mounted the curb.

Sentencing Kenny, who was found guilty of murder, Mr Justice David Steel said: "No words of mine can be of any comfort, I am sure, to the family of Mr Pearson.

"Your reactions immediately after and in this trial demonstrate a total lack of remorse or even pity."

Three passengers

During the trial Martin Meeke QC, prosecuting, said Kenny told a friend about the hit-and-run incident the following day, saying: "I would do it again. It was fun."

Kenny, of Crescent Avenue, Plymouth, had denied he was behind the wheel of his Vauxhall Astra hatchback when it struck Mr Pearson.

But his three passengers, Patrick Pearce, Edward Reilly and George Stone, all told the court Kenny had been driving.

Kenny had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Neil Pearson.

He denied two further charges of manslaughter and causing death by dangerous driving.


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26 Nov 02 | England
11 Nov 02 | England
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