Bid to in­crease killer driver’s jail term fails

Glossop Advertiser - - Front Page - John Scheer­hout

AMOVE to in­crease the four-year jail sen­tence for a hit-an­drun driver who mowed down and killed two chil­dren has failed.

It means Ga­bor Hege­dus, 34, is likely to be re­leased within two years on pa­role de­spite crash­ing his Peu­geot 907 into Zaneta Krokova, 11, and He­lena Kot­larova, 12, as the cousins crossed a road in Old­ham on New Year’s Eve.

He­lena died at the scene while Zaneta passed away in hospi­tal two days later.

Last month Judge John Pot­ter handed Hege­dus a four-year sen­tence af­ter the de­fen­dant had pleaded guilty to caus­ing death by care­less driv­ing, fail­ing to stop af­ter a col­li­sion, fail­ing to re­port a col­li­sion, driv­ing with­out a li­cence and con­spir­ing to per­vert the course of jus­tice.

Hege­dus, a con­victed crim­i­nal from Hun­gary, had been speed­ing at 40mph on the 30mph Ash­ton Road mo­ments be­fore the crash, although his car had slowed to just be­low the speed limit by the time of the im­pact, a court heard.

To­gether with his three pas­sen­gers – also con­victed crim­i­nals from Hun­gary – he dumped the car and then re­ported it stolen in a bid to evade jus­tice. They washed the car with bleach to de­stroy any ev­i­dence and Hege­dus also shaved off his beard to avoid cap­ture.

The sen­tence prompted out­rage from M.E.N. read­ers and the par­ents of the cousins, both im­mi­grants liv­ing and work­ing in Old­ham af­ter mov­ing from the Czech Repub­lic.

The case was re­ferred to the At­tor­ney Gen­eral who, the M.E.N. can re­veal, has now de­cided not to re­fer the case to the Court of Ap­peal as ‘un­duly le­nient’.

A spokesman for the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice said: “The So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral Robert Buck­land of­fers his sin­cer­est con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies of Zaneta Krokova and He­lena Kot­larova. Af­ter care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion we have de­cided not to re­fer the sen­tence of Ga­bor Hege­dus to the Court of Ap­peal as we be­lieve it was in line with sen­tenc­ing guide­lines and would not have been in­creased.”

The news will dev­as­tate the girls’ par­ents. Hege­dus had orig­i­nally been charged with caus­ing death by dan­ger­ous driv­ing, which car­ries a max­i­mum 14 years in prison.

Fear­ing they may not be able to per­suade a jury, pros­e­cu­tors later ac­cepted his guilty plea to the lesser charge of caus­ing death by care­less driv­ing, which car­ries a max­i­mum fiveyear sen­tence. How­ever, Hege­dus also ad­mit­ted con­spir­acy to per­vert the course of jus­tice which at­tracts a max­i­mum life sen­tence.

Ga­bor Hege­dus

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