Teen drives stolen Audi recklessly, killing pedestrian.

He caused the death of an experienced runner in a tragic accident.

July 1st 2023.

Teen drives stolen Audi recklessly, killing pedestrian.
Lewis Wright, a 17-year-old from Howard Florey Avenue in Netherton, was sentenced to four years in detention at Liverpool Crown Court for killing 63-year-old David Francis in a horrifying crash.
Wright had been driving a stolen £100,000 Audi S8 at speeds between 54 and 62mph, three times the speed limit. He had lost control of the car, which raced the wrong way round a small roundabout before crushing Francis against a garden wall and ploughing through a house. Those inside the house were watching TV when the car came to rest protruding through the wall.

The prosecutor, Ian Harris, said that the impact of the crash had been so severe that Francis had been ‘horribly injured, almost dead’ by the time the car had come to rest. Wright fled the scene, only handing himself in to police six days later after his picture appeared in the local media.

The court heard that Wright had been a long-term cannabis user and had a string of previous offences, including county lines drug activity. Judge Andrew Menary KC said that, given the speed he had been driving, a collision with something was inevitable. He also dismissed Wright’s claims that the brakes had failed to respond when he repeatedly pumped them.

David Francis, known as the ‘Litherland Running Man’ for always running topless, whatever the weather, was described by his nephew Lewis Francis as a private religious man who would run 30 or 40 miles a night. He had a large loving family and was an ‘outstanding amateur athlete’. In an impact statement, his sister Karen said he would have lived to 100 and that the defendant should serve those years taken away from her brother behind bars.

Judge Menary said that Wright had been more interested in saving himself than in the carnage he had caused. He also said that this type of arrogant driving of stolen cars was designed to intimidate communities and that Francis had ‘paid a terrible price for this selfish behaviour’.

Joanne Maxwell, defending, said that Wright expressed his remorse and shame for his actions and that the youth justice team had been working with him to disengage from negative peer group pressure. She said that Wright hoped to work as a commercial fisherman and keep away from negative and criminal influences after his release.

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