Page last updated at 09:15 GMT, Tuesday, 22 April 2008 10:15 UK

Fury at death-driver Bebo bravado

Christopher McGinn
Christopher McGinn was sentenced to four years

A teenager, who expressed remorse in court for killing two men while driving drunk, wrote on his online profile: "I'll be back and I'm not changing."

Christopher McGinn, 18, was jailed last week for four years for driving a vehicle which struck two cars on the Dublin Road, Newry in October 2006.

Stephen Shields, 44, from Newry and Dromintee man Gerald Fearon, 26, died.

Mr Shields' widow Catherine said she was disgusted at the lack of remorse McGinn had shown in his Bebo profile.

In sentencing McGinn, the judge had taken into consideration his regret at what had happened.

I honestly believe it was two fingers to both our families, to the police, the prosecution and the judge
Ciaran Burns
Stephen Shields' brother-in-law

A defence barrister told the court McGinn was "pre-occupied by the consequences of his reckless actions".

However, the families have been angered by the lack of remorse on McGinn's profile on the Bebo social networking website.

In a message to his friends, McGinn writes he will be heading away for a while but "it's not something I will want to fight", adding, "I'll miss you all but I'll be back and I'm not changing".

The profile also contains a "joyriders' prayer" including the lines: "Lead us not into checkpoints but deliver us from traffic branch and speed traps."

'Adding insult to injury'

Mrs Shields said she had seen McGinn's Bebo profile and was outraged at what he had written there.

"He's just adding insult to injury, still letting people know that he's a mad boy racer - for that to still be on the site on the day he was sentenced is unbelievable," she said.

Stephen Shields' brother-in-law Ciaran Burns said he had "never known such a level of depravity".

"I honestly believe it was two fingers to both our families, to the police, the prosecution and the judge, and it was certainly his parting shot," he said.

McGinn pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, two counts of causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and driving without insurance.

He was banned from driving for 10 years following the accident at the junction with Hawthorn Hill.

McGinn, then 16, bought the car for 200 a few hours before the crash.

Mrs Shields said she was "devastated" at the leniency of the sentence.

"I never expected he would be sent to a young offenders' centre. Maybe I was being nave but I thought he would be going to proper jail," she said.


SEE ALSO
Death driver sentence 'insulting'
17 Apr 08 |  Northern Ireland
Road victims' names are released
29 Oct 06 |  Northern Ireland


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