Leo Meek, 22, hit Jack Jones, 15, who had been cycling to his aunt’s in Moreton, then drove off, abandoned the car and went home to bed – all after a judge gave him a second chance
Image: Liverpool Echo)
A hit and run driver who killed a teenage boy had previously been given a second chance by a judge after he egged his mate on a police chase.
Leo Meek has been jailed this week for killing 15-year-old Jack Jones, who was cycling to his aunt’s in Moreton, on April 26 this year.
Meek, 22, hit Jack while speeding 55mph in a 30mph zone in his Volkswagen Tiguan, reports the Liverpool Echo.
He then sped away from the scene without even slamming on the brakes. He ditched the car two miles away from the incident and went home to bed.
Jack died the following morning in hospital, surrounded by his family who learned of the horrific crash when his mum saw a Facebook alert and feared her son could be involved.
Liverpool Crown Court heard his killer, Meek, was previously involved in another spate of dangerous driving as a passenger, when his friend smashed into a police car in the Birkenhead tunnel.
Peter Hussey, prosecuting, said Meek, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene, had eight previous convictions, including being carried in a vehicle taken without consent.
Meek, of West Way, Moreton, was one of three yobs who were in the Ford Fiesta, worth £10,000, after it was stolen in a burglary at a woman’s home in Barnston, Wirral on February 21, 2018.
On March 3 officers pursued the vehicle, which was driven by Lee Miller, then 19, who gave chase and reached speeds of 100 mph.
Miller sped through red lights and reached 110mph on the M53, where police lost the car but later found it in Wallasey and continued the pursuit.
The then teen did a U-turn and drove at the officer’s car, clipping his wing mirror, before driving through the bollards at Wirral Custody Suite.
Miller, of Wentworth Road, New Brighton, eventually smashed through a barrier to enter the Queensway Tunnel, where he slammed into a police car and wall.
Meek, Miller and their friend Will Smith, then 18, were all caught trying to flee.
During the court hearing in 2018 David Polglase, defending Miller, said while he had lied about not being the driver he now admitted his guilt and luckily did not injure anyone.
He said his mum and girlfriend were in court to support him and his mum hoped “he can grow out of this behaviour”.
Anna Duke, defending Smith and Meek, said Smith abused cannabis from a very young age, but was trying to stay drug free.
Ms Duke said “visibly upset” Meek had never been locked up before and found detention “very unpleasant and upsetting”.
Miller was jailed for one year after admitting dangerous driving, handling stolen goods and driving without insurance and a licence.
He was banned from driving for two-and-a-half years.
Smith, of Manor Road, and Meek, both admitted being carried in a vehicle taken without consent.
Smith, who had relevant previous convictions, was jailed for six months and banned from driving for 15-months.
Meek, who didn’t have relevant previous convictions at the time, was handed six months behind bars, suspended for two years, plus 70 hours of unpaid work.
The judge, Recorder Graham Wells, told Meek to attend 25 Rehabilitation Activity Requirements and a Thinking Skills course.
He also banned Meek from driving for one year.
The judge said: “You will have therefore the opportunity to turn your life around. Don’t mess it up.”
This week Meek was jailed for 40 months after leaving Jack, from Woodchurch, with fatal head and neck injuries.
In moving victim impact statement’s Jack’s family spoke of their devastation at losing a “selfless, humble and empathetic young man”.
Marjorie Jones, Jack’s mum, said: “We as parents had to make decisions no parent should make.”
She said: “I had my hand on his chest, feeling his heart beating, and I felt his heart stop for the last time.”
Jack’s uncle, Jamie, said that Meek’s actions had left “an emotional black hole and an unforgivable sense of loss”.
In a letter to the judge Meek claimed he “panicked” and was “frightened and scared”.
He said: “I found it hard to come to terms with the harsh reality that Jack lost his life solely through my actions.”
His mum said after seeing him in custody he was “remorseful and devastated”.