PSNI officer: Crash victim’s family may not feel they have justice

Edward Devlin at Craigavon Crown Court
Edward Devlin at Craigavon Crown Court

A police officer has said she understands why relatives of a Lisburn pensioner killed by a young driver would feel they have not really obtained justice, after he was handed an 13-and-a-half month jail term.

Senior road policing officer Inspector Rosemary Leech was speaking after the court case against Edward Devlin, 21, over the death of Ian Leonard Bailie in 2014.

Newry man Devlin had been browsing the website Gumtree before hitting a telegraph pole, which in turn struck Mr Bailie.

He already had two previous convictions for careless driving.

See the full story of his crime here.

Inspector Rosemary Leech described Mr Bailie’s death as “desperately sad”.

Insp Leech said while sentencing remained a matter for the courts, “I can understand that maybe Mrs Bailie may feel that justice really hasn’t been fully served”.

“We have seen other examples of road traffic collisions where the sentences would appear to be somewhat on the lighter side and where they have been challenged,” said the road policing inspector.

She said that “possibly sentences need to be stiffer to dissuade and deter people”.

She also issued a warning to other drivers that “we will seize your mobile phone and we will interrogate the various systems and cell sites that we have available to clearly demonstrate to a court what was going on”.

She added: “The investigating officers who attended the scene knew that here was something more than the road or visibility,” revealed the senior officer.

“Immediately their attention was put into what was keeping him distracted.”