A DONEGAL man who killed seven friends and a pensioner in the country’s worst road crash will have his sentence increased after the Court of Appeal ruled today the original sentence was unduly lenient.
Shaun Kelly (27), of Hill Road, Ballymagan, Buncrana, had pleaded guilty at Letterkenny Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing the death of eight men on a road between Clonmany and Buncrana on July 11 2010.
Giving the court’s judgment, Mr Justice Goerge Birmingham said there were factors present in the case which “jusitified, indeed required” a sentence of lower than seven years.
However, the Circuit Court judge had erred in the “double discount” of mitigating the sentence from seven to four and suspending the final two years, Mr Justice Birmingham said.
He said the sentence represented a “substantial departure” from what would be appropriate.
He said Kelly was entitled to know “his fate” and the court hoped to be in a position to impose a new sentence on him on December 7 next.
A DDP lawyer said a prolonged period of “deliberate” dangerous driving and, driving the way he had on that night, it was “emanently forseeable” that there would be multiple fatalities.
There were a large number of family members from both sides in court for the appeal.