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Jail sentence Man took Snapchat videos at 225kph before crash that killed three people

The two car collision at Carrickarnon, Ravensdale, Dundalk, Co Louth claimed the lives of mother and son Mary (82) and Kevin (58) Faxton and Bryan Magill (24).

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Keith Lennon with an address in Forest Park, Dromintee, Co. Armagh, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of three people

Keith Lennon with an address in Forest Park, Dromintee, Co. Armagh, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of three people

Keith Lennon with an address in Forest Park, Dromintee, Co. Armagh, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of three people

A man who took two Snapchat videos showing he was driving at 225kph just before he drove into the back of another car causing the deaths of three people, has been jailed for 9 years.

The 3-litreAudi driven by Keith Lennon (21), with an address in Forest Park, Dromintee, Co. Armagh, was essentially a weapon in the circumstances that evolved on the night in question, Judge Martina Baxter said as she imposed sentence on Friday.

An earlier court heard it was travelling at 140mph which was (equal to) 225 kph and this was 105km above the 120kph speed (limit) for the road in question.

The two car collision at Carrickarnon, Ravensdale, Dundalk, county Louth in the early hours of 29th February last year claimed the lives of mother and son Mary (82) and Kevin (58) Faxton from Bessbrook and Bryan Magill (24) from Newry.

Lennon, who was not insured to drive the Audi, went into custody in December last year after he pleaded guilty to three counts of manslaughter.

One of the deceased, Mr Magill, was a passenger in Lennon’s car, the two men had not met until that night.

Mary and Kevin Faxton were in a Peugeot 108 car that was struck from behind by the Audi as both cars headed northwards on the N1 dual carriageway.

The Snapchat videos, taken at 2.04am and 2.06am, by Lennon as he drove, and show the speedometer at 140mph, Judge Martina Baxter was previously told.

Lennon had also forwarded the Snapchat videos to friends whilst driving, including one of the passengers in his car.

After the crash he left the scene but presented himself at Dundalk Garda station the next day.

Judge Baxter said the victim impact statements made harrowing reading and nothing would replace the loss of their loved ones. It was, she said, an horrific collision and one of the worst cases she has ever heard with three fatalities and 'showing off' using social media.

She said the victim impact statements were also powerful reminders of the many road safety campaigns on both sides of the border that are directed at young men to drive safely.

She said innocent people have lost their lives as a consequence of gross negligence of driving usually by young men. Such driving, such distractions and such gross negligence are not acceptable.

She said Lennon had not mentioned to his Probation officer about being distracted or the Snapchat videos but he had said he was pushing the car to see what it could do.

The car was essentially a weapon in the circumstances on the night.

The earlier court heard how Kevin Faxton was driving his mother Mary home after they had gone for a spin because she suffered from depression and going out in the car benefitted her.

Mr Magill’s mother, in a victim impact statement from his family, said that no parent should see their child leave home in a coffin. She said Lennon will get visits in prison but she will be visiting her son in a graveyard.

Mr Patrick Gageby, defending, previously expressed the profound apologies of his client and said that he (Lennon) had wanted it to be said in public that he is absolutely remorseful for what he did.

Judge Baxter said she had no reason to doubt the genuineness of his contrition and his sorrow. Lennon’s mental health has deteriorated and he now has a diagnosis of depression. She said he will have to live with what he has done for the rest of his life.

He has no previous convictions.

She imposed ten year sentences in relation to each of the deceased, to run concurrently, and the last 12 months were suspended on him complying with certain conditions. She disqualified him for 20 years.

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