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Last Updated: Monday, 1 September, 2003, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Fatal crash driver gets four years
Mary Celine Mullin
Mary Celine Mullin received a four-year sentence

A County Tyrone woman who killed two people while driving drunk down the wrong side of a Northern Ireland motorway has been given a four-year sentence.

Mary Celine Mullin, 55, from Beragh in County Tyrone was three and a half times over the legal limit when she crashed her Land Rover into a car on the M1 between Lurgan, County Armagh, and Moira in County Down.

Laura Robinson, 21, and her 19-year-old work colleague Leigh Creany died in the accident on 5 June last year.

Mullin had made a U-turn on the slip road leading from the M1 to Lurgan then set off towards Belfast in the fast lane of the wrong carriageway.

On Monday, at Craigavon Crown Court, Judge Desmond Curran recommended that Mullin be allowed to serve her sentence in the hospital wing of Maghaberry prison near Lisburn.

Laura Robinson and Leigh Creany were killed
Laura Robinson and Leigh Creany were killed
The families of the two women described the sentence as "too lenient".

Leigh's mother, Joyce, said: "At the end of the day, she'll be out in two years.

"For the lives of our two children, she'll only get one year per life."

In June, Mullin pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving in the head-on collision.

She had also originally denied driving whilst unfit, but changed her plea to guilty a week before her trial was due to begin.

The family of Laura Robinson said they were disappointed there had been no trial, as they felt there were still questions to be answered about the girls' deaths.

They said Mullin had been spoken to by traffic branch officers before the crash but was allowed to go on her way.

Louise Robinson's family have called for a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the collision.

The Police Ombudsman's office said in June that it had received a complaint surrounding the incident.

On Monday, the office said it had been unable to reach a conclusion in the case having carried out a thorough investigation of police involvement in the circumstances leading up to the "tragic accident".

Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan said her office was unable to interview in detail a key police witness who had suffered serious injuries in a separate incident a short time after the accident.

"This is an additional tragic element to the case," she said.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC NI's Gordon Adair reports
"She held her head in her hands and sobbed as the sentence was handed down"



SEE ALSO:
Two die in road accident
06 Jun 02  |  Northern Ireland
M1 crash woman pleads guilty
02 Jun 03  |  Northern Ireland



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