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No remorse Death driver Nathan Finn freed after serving less than four years for killing teen jogger

Finn breached his bail on several occasions while awaiting sentencing - one occasion he was returned to custody for going to buy a puppy

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Nathan Finn at his home last week

Nathan Finn at his home last week

Nathan Finn at his home last week

This is hit-and-run death driver Nathan Finn fresh from prison after serving less than four years in jail for killing a teenage jogger.

Free man Finn (23) has the rest of his life to look forward to after serving less than half his eight-year sentence at Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Prison in Belfast.

It's a future the victim of his reckless and dangerous driving, student Lesley-Ann McCarragher, won't be afforded.

And it's a sentence that many people will feel makes a mockery of justice especially as Finn breached his bail on several occasions while awaiting sentencing - one occasion he was returned to custody for going to buy a puppy.

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Lesley-Anne McCarragher

Lesley-Anne McCarragher

Lesley-Anne McCarragher

Lesley-Ann was jogging along the Monaghan Road, Armagh, on April 9, 2016 when the 19-year-old was struck by Finn's Saab, which sped from the scene without stopping.

Finn, who lives close to his victim's family, was racing a mate and a witness described the two cars as, "racing, absolutely flying".

Pictures of the tyre tracks in the muddy grass made by his car in the aftermath of the shocking incident gives some idea of how out of control he was of the vehicle.

The short period Finn has spent behind bars is bound to shock Lesley-Ann's family and it's understood they only discovered he was being set free on the morning of his release.

A source close to the family told the Sunday World: "They had no idea until the day he was getting out and though they knew he was due out soon I think they were shocked it was quite so soon.

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Flowers left at the scene

Flowers left at the scene

Flowers left at the scene

"It's only five years since Lesley-Ann was cruelly killed by the selfish actions of Nathan Finn, who after mowing her down, drove off leaving her lying on the road.

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"This wasn't some tragic unavoidable accident - he was driving like a lunatic without a licence at high speed while racing another lunatic."

The Sunday World was tipped off that Finn had already been released from jail several weeks ago and went to his home in Keady, south Armagh, to ask if he had anything to say about what happened that day.

Instead of answering the door, he opened a window at his bungalow home but apart from confirming his name he didn't utter a single word and soon went back inside.

When asked if he felt he'd been sufficiently punished for what he had done, he didn't reply. Rather he took out his mobile phone and started to make a call while closing the window.

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Reporter Steven Moore speaks to Finn at his home

Reporter Steven Moore speaks to Finn at his home

Reporter Steven Moore speaks to Finn at his home

Finn had been involved in a crazy race with his pal Damien McCann, who was also prosecuted for lesser charges connected to the same incident, when he tried to undertake his race rival on the hard shoulder - where Lesley-Ann was enjoying a run.

She was thrown into the air, landing in the middle of the road. Despite being airlifted to hospital, Lesley-Ann passed away.

Finn - then aged 17 - was behind the wheel, and while initially denying all charges, he later accepted causing death by dangerous driving, causing death while driving without a licence or insurance, as well as failing to stop and remain at the scene of a collision, or report it to police.

Lesley-Ann sustained catastrophic brain injuries, including multiple skull fractures. It was established she could not survive, and her condition deteriorated rapidly. She passed away on April 10, 2016.

For weeks Finn hid behind a poorly constructed web of lies designed to 'prove' he was innocent.

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Lesley-Ann

Lesley-Ann

Lesley-Ann

During police interview he denied all allegations, claiming someone else had been driving the car. He claimed, as a part-time car dealer, he bought the Saab the previous day but sold it before the incident.

It transpired he had hidden it in a garage and it later emerged Finn contacted the previous owner, warning her if spoken to by police to tell them she "sold the car to foreigners".

During a sentencing hearing at Newry Crown Court in June 2018, Judge Gordon Kerr QC said Finn's driving was extremely bad over a prolonged period.

"He had no licence or insurance and shouldn't have been on the road at all. He struck the victim and drove from the scene. He gave a dishonest account and attempted to set up an alternative version of events. This case is at the highest sentencing category."

Finn was jailed for nine years and disqualified from driving for six years though he appealed and had a year taken off and was told he'd only serve four years in jail and four on licence.

Co-defendant Damien Paul McCann of Lagan Road in Keady was fined £500 and banned from driving for two years after he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

He had originally been charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

But Finn flouted bail conditions which were set supposedly so he could attend counselling sessions but instead it emerged he was also going to the gym, to Mass and on one occasion he claimed he breached bail to buy a puppy.

It's understood he was also involved in a number of incidents at Hydebank Wood.

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Monaghan Road

Monaghan Road

Monaghan Road

In 2017 Finn reacted furiously when he was named in the press after turning 18, having previously had his identity withheld as the offences were committed as a youth.

After Finn and McCann were sentenced the family of Lesley-Ann released a heart-breaking statement.

They described her as, "a kind, caring, honest, hardworking, witty, sporty and outgoing girl" and added she was a "daughter that any person would have been proud of, and we all adored her".

They added: "Finn chose to mount the hard shoulder to undertake a car. He struck Lesley-Ann, throwing her into the middle of the road and chose to leave her to die. He chose to flee the scene, without even a flicker of care or compassion.

"He chose to conceal his car after the incident. He chose to hide and destroy evidence and interfere with a key witness in the aftermath.

"Despite overwhelming evidence, he chose to deny his guilt in causing Lesley-Ann's death, for a considerable time.

"Throughout all, Lesley-Ann never had any choice at any time.

"It is of huge regret both Finn and McCann demonstrated absolutely no remorse for their actions."

steven.moore@sundayworld.com

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