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Last Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Killer driver loses term appeal
The remains of one of the vehicles involved in the crash
The remains of one of the vehicles involved in the crash
The driver of a car which crashed and killed two passengers has lost an appeal against a nine-year sentence for causing death by dangerous driving.

Eight other people were injured when the car collided with a taxi on west Belfast's Falls Road in December, 2005.

Thomas McCartney, 24, from Ballymurphy Crescent, Belfast, had pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court last December.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr said the case was in the "gravest category" of causing death by dangerous driving.

Shortly before the fatal crash, McCartney had been driving at up to 90 miles an hour sometimes on the wrong side of the road, an inquest was told last week.

In the Court of Appeal Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr said the loss suffered by the families of those killed - McCartney's 15 year-old cousin Jamie Lee Rooney and Paul McCrory, 22 - was incalculable.

Two other passengers were injured, as were six people who were in the taxi.

The Appeal Court judges set new starting points for jail terms in future cases of death by dangerous driving.

Affirming the nine-year sentence Sir Brian said: "This case is located firmly in the gravest category within the more serious culpability grouping and warrants the most severe punishment."





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