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Parliament to debate Violet-Grace's law

Four-year-old Violet-Grace Youens. Credit: Liverpool Echo.

A petition for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers, which was launched in memory of a four-year-old hit-and-run victim, will be debated by MPs.

Violet-Grace's Law calls for life sentences to be considered for those convicted of dangerous driving.

It was started by the parents of four-year-old Violet-Grace Youens, who was struck by a hit and run driver in St Helens in March 2017.

Dangerous driver Aidan McAteer will be out of prison in 2021. Credit: Merseyside Police.

Driver Aidan McAteer drove a stolen car at 83 mph in a 30 mph zone then fled the scene after he had struck Violet and her grandmother Angela French.

The youngster died from her injuries, while her grandmother suffered life-changing injuries.

McAteer was jailed for nine years and four months while passenger Dean Brennan, who aided him in fleeing the country, was handed a sentence of six years and eight months.

The pair will spend half their sentence in prison and the other half on licence.

After learning that the killers would spend less time in prison than the amount of time Violet was alive, her parents, Rebecca and Glenn, launched the petition, which has now been signed 164,000 times.

"In October 2017, the Government promised life sentences for death by dangerous driving. It’s now 2019.

"Innocent people have been killed, but nothing has changed.

"The law is out of date.

"Anyone convicted of death by dangerous driving should receive life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of 15 years.

"If more than one person is killed or injured, the sentences must run separately."

– Petition calling for Violet-Grace's Law

"We don’t want anyone to feel the pain and injustice we have.

"We have a life sentence as does violet.

"They stepped over Violet’s body in the road as if she was rubbish to make their escape and left Violet and my mum for dead.

"They are both evil, cold and calculating."

– Rebecca Youens