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'haunted' Heartbroken mum of tragic Morgan Denny hits out at suspended sentence for driver

'What that man Ian Thompson did to me and my family is unbearable. My son was a legend and a gentleman, our hearts are broken'

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Morgan pictured with his sister.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Morgan pictured with his sister. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Morgan pictured with his sister. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Heartbroken mum Ann Denny has hit out a suspended sentence given to a driver involved in her son’s death.

Morgan Denny (36) was killed in a car accident involving Ian Thompson. The tragic young man died a lonely death on the side of the road.

She is haunted by the thought his last moments in this world were to fight for his life on his own.

Thompson (62), who received a 18-month jail term for careless driving, suspended for three years, has left the Denny family in tatters.

Yet Ann says if he had been there when Morgan died in 2017 she would have been able to forgive.

Ann and her husband Charlie are broken people. Every day they open their eyes their hearts break all over again, it’s another day without Morgan who was the light of their lives.

“What that man Ian Thompson did to me and my family is unbearable. My son was a legend and a gentleman, our hearts are broken,” Ann told the Sunday World.

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Pictured at home Ann Denny, mother of Morgan Denny 
Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Pictured at home Ann Denny, mother of Morgan Denny Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Pictured at home Ann Denny, mother of Morgan Denny Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

“There is no one who knew our son Morgan would have said any different. He [Thompson] has destroyed me and Charlie’s lives, the children’s, his sister Chelly’s and his lovely wife Maria.

“He walked away with no punishment, a suspended sentence. No justice. It’s as if our son’s life meant nothing, his death by that man meant nothing in the eyes of the law,” she claimed.

Thompson, who had previously been convicted for his role in a multi-million pound fuel-laundering operation, denied he knew he caused the fatal crash.

“He cut the corner causing my son to swerve and crash into the lorry that resulted in his death,” said Ann.

For years Thompson denied any responsibility until pleading guilty last week, ending the Morgan family’s quest for justice.

“For years we have been waiting for an outcome. Why did he not plead guilty at the start and we could have, maybe, some way, come to terms with what happened to Morgan?” said Ann this week.

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“If my son Morgan caused an accident like that he would have never been the same. And he would have admitted his guilt and said sorry to the family he hurt, destroyed.”

Ann has a memory box of Morgan, trinkets she cherishes. His first pair of football boots, his first babygro. None eases her pain, reminders of the son she lost too early in life.

“Does it help? No. They remind me of happier times but then the pain and the heartbreak takes over because I know I will never see my son’s handsome, beautiful face again. He was such a lovely boy, a lovely man, a fantastic father to his two children who miss him so much.

“My granddaughter Aoibhan gives you the tightest and biggest of hugs, just out of the blue sometimes and we ask her where did you learn to give hugs like that and she says ‘my daddy’.

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 Pictured at home Ann and Charlie Denny parents of Morgan Denny who died following a 2017 crash at the junction of Rusheyhill Road and Tornagrough road outside Belfast.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Pictured at home Ann and Charlie Denny parents of Morgan Denny who died following a 2017 crash at the junction of Rusheyhill Road and Tornagrough road outside Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Pictured at home Ann and Charlie Denny parents of Morgan Denny who died following a 2017 crash at the junction of Rusheyhill Road and Tornagrough road outside Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

“She was only two when he died but despite people saying she will be too young to remember she does.”

Ann and Charlie would like to thank people who stopped and tried to help their son in his final moments and say their son’s children are the only thing that keeps them going.

“We were in the car with Aoibhan one day and she said to us, ‘it’s very sad about my daddy because he never got to see me turn five’. She has never forgot her daddy, he was her best friend. She knew he missed her fifth birthday, she will know every other milestone he misses. Her communion, confirmation, going to university, getting married. That man took everything from us, from his daughter’s future, from his son Ronan’s,” Charlie said.

“Our hearts will never mend, they will be broken until we take our last breath. It’s only our grandchildren that keep us getting out of bed every day,” Ann added.

The family – including Morgan’s wife Maria and sister Michelle – are disgusted by last week’s court outcome and sentence.

“Ian Thompson pleaded not guilty from the accident in September 2017 until a few days before the trial,” Ann said.

“He tormented us, the waiting and the waiting. Court dates being delayed and delayed and the result was this. He has not been punished for what he did to my son, his life has gone on, it never stopped.

“Our lives that day ended,” Ann added in tears. Belfast Crown Court heard Morgan died after his Nissan jeep spun out of control and hit a second lorry while attempting to avoid a collision with Thompson’s Daf truck.

Thompson, from Rathkyle in Antrim, pleaded guilty to causing Morgan’s death by his careless driving on the Tornagrough Road near its junction Rusheyhill Road, Hannahstown, on September 27, 2017.

Suspending his jail term, Judge Kevin Finnegan QC acknowledged “that might seem a minimal return for the death of a young man, a young father and a young brother.

“But the degree of carelessness [of Thompson’s driving] has to be measured and I have to be dispassionate about it, even though my upset to put it mildly at the plight of the Denny family should be obvious.”

Earlier, Judge Finnegan said the case, in particular the reading of the various victim impact reports, made it “as sad a case as I have seen”, and while he hoped it might bring some closure to the Denny family, “I hasten to add that nothing I do to the accused will bring back their son, their husband or brother”.

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