Judge slams 'reckless and arrogant' driver who hit and killed tragic Leeds teen

Left: Kieran McGowan was locked up. Right: Tragic Kate Whalley
Left: Kieran McGowan was locked up. Right: Tragic Kate Whalley
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A judge described Kieran McGowan as "reckless and arrogant" over his actions which led to the death of Kate Whalley.

Locking McGowan up for four and a half years, judge Christopher Batty said no length of sentence could ever compensate for the teenager's death.

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McGowan was also banned from driving for six years, eleven weeks.

The judge said: "To drive your car after consuming so much alcohol is wholly irresponsible.

"But to then drive it in such a dangerous and reckless way is unforgivable.

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"It was a display of selfishness and arrogance and, as is seen too often, the person who paid the price was a wholly innocent young girl making her way home."

The court heard McGowan's partner was expecting their first child in just over three weeks.

Judge Batty added: "You will miss your daughter's birth.

"You will miss her early years.

"Kate will never get to enjoy her university days, her career and a life with a family of her own.

"Her parents have lost their child.

"They will never fully recover. Their loss is immeasurable. Their lives turned upside down by your selfish, lunatic behavior, to quote Kate's distressed father."

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McGowan's barrister, Andrew Dallas said: "He is racked with remorse for his dangerous driving and the appalling tragedy that was caused by it."

Mr Dallas described McGowan as a "decent hard-working member of the community who came from a loving family.

Kitty Colley, for Hurst, said he was married to a primary school teacher and they had four children.

She said Hirst had suffered injuries in the collision and had lost his business as a result.

Jailing Hurst, judge Batty said: "People who lie to the authorities in order to avoid criminal responsibility for the actions of themselves or another, or to frustrate a police investigation, should expect an immediate custodial sentence. Especially when it involves a serious offence such as this.