Family of crash victim Chloe Hayman wait over challenge to driver's sentence

Chloe Hayman, 17, died when driver Keilan Roberts, 22, crashed his car while high on ecstasy and cocaine in Caerphilly, in July last year Credit: Gwent Police Force/ Family photo

The family of a teenage girl killed in a car crash are waiting to find out if the drink and drug driver jailed for causing her death will have his prison sentence increased by the Court of Appeal.

Chloe Hayman, 17, was a passenger in 22-year-old Keilan Roberts' car in the early hours of July 24 last year.

Roberts, who pleaded guilty to four charges relating to Chloe's death, had consumed alcohol, cocaine, ketamine, and ecstasy before driving his Skoda Octavia after a night out in Pontypridd.

Cardiff Crown Court was told that Roberts, of Rhymney, had not met Chloe before the evening of the crash and offered to take her to her home in Tonypandy after arguing with his girlfriend.

Chloe Hayman was killed when she was a passenger in Keilan Roberts' car in July last year Credit: Family photograph

Roberts lost control of his car in the village of Fochriw, with the collision resulting in fatal chest injuries to Chloe who died at the scene.

He was jailed for three years and nine months and banned from driving for 10 years in June.

However, at a Court of Appeal hearing in London on Thursday, the Attorney General's Office (AGO) challenged the sentence as being "unduly lenient."

Lord Justice Popplewell, sitting with Mr Justice Lavender and Mr Justice Bryan, said they hoped to give their written decision “within the next few days”.

He told members of Chloe’s family and friends following the hearing in court and via video-link, that “whatever the outcome of the hearing” the judges were “very conscious no sentence can make up for the grievous loss of Chloe’s life”.

Keilan Roberts, 22, crashed his car while high on ecstasy and cocaine in Caerphilly, in July last year Credit: Gwent Police/Family Photograph

Philip McGhee, for the AGO, said that sentencing judge David Wynn Morgan had made an “insufficient” increase in the jail term handed to Roberts to reflect the “gravity” of his offending.

Judge Morgan said in June that his sentencing of Roberts was within guidelines but acknowledged it may seem “inadequate”.

“It is inadequate for the simple reason that no sentence can have the effect of restoring Chloe Hayman to her loved ones,” he said.

Roberts joined the hearing via video-link from HMP Parc in Bridgend and pleaded guilty to four counts of causing death by careless driving while under the influence, with each count reflecting the substances he had taken.

The AGO said the judge's approach to sentencing "did not properly reflect the aggravating factors", in written arguments for the hearing.

These factors included Roberts driving with "two dangerously defective rear tyres," drinking alcohol after the collision "in an attempt to frustrate the breathalyser process" and failing "to have any regard to the warnings or concerns expressed by others about his behaviour."

The AGO added that the judge had "insufficiently" adjusted the sentence to take account of Roberts' levels of intoxication which "were substantially in excess of the specified limit in respect of each of the three controlled drugs."

The document concluded that "the sentence was not just and proportionate to the overall seriousness of the offending."

Jeffrey Jones, representing Roberts, said that the sentence passed was "proportionate", with the judge "significantly" increasing it "to reflect all the drugs."

Danielle has said her family have been devastated by the loss of Chloe Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

"The effect of this crime clearly is going to be devastating to Chloe’s family," Jones added. "This offender will carry the memory of what he’s done for a very long time and his remorse is genuine."

At sentencing, the court was told that Roberts, had no previous convictions and had experienced a "fractured and sad childhood."

Previously speaking to ITV Cymru Wales, Chloe's mother Danielle O'Halloran said: "I certainly miss her bossiness. Her telling me what to do. I miss her singing , I miss her taking my clothes. I miss everything about her.

She added: "She was just a light, no matter how difficult or challenging she could have ever have been, she was just a light for me and a reason to just keep going."

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