'You should have been looking after him': mum of 10-year-old hit-and-run victim abused outside court
The parents of a child who was killed in a hit-and-run accident have been subjected to torrents of abuse from friends of the driver.
Ten-year-old Sean Hamilton was crossing a road with his 12-year-old sister Stephanie when he was killed.
Driver Patrick Smith, 18, was sentenced yesterday to 30 months in a Young Offenders' institution at York Crown Court for bad driving.
As Sean's parents, Ronnie and Sharon Hamilton tried to pay tribute to their son outside the court building, they were subjected to catcalls and taunts by a crowd of around 30 of Smith's friends. One shouted: 'You should have been looking after your kid. Disgusting.'
The group laughed at Sean's devastated family.
Patrick Smith had been driving a Ford Transit van at 47 mph in a 30 mph speed zone, with playing 'thumping' music blaring out, when he hit Sean last October, the court heard yesterday.
As Stephanie and passers by rushed to help Sean, Smith and his two passengers got out of the car and ran away over a garden wall.
Smith gave himself up the next day, admitting careless driving and failing to stop after an accident. He was told by the judge, Stephen Ashurst: 'You were driving far too fast. Too fast to allow young Sean to react and too fast to give yourself a chance of avoiding him.
'Stephanie Hamilton and her friends instinctively went to do what they could to help Sean, as did other members of the public.'
Smith, who passed his driving test six months before the collision, has previous convictions for burglary, robbery and theft.
The judge praised Sean's parents for acting with dignity throughout the case.