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Daily channels patch’s ‘anger’ over child killer’s six-year sentence

A regional daily used its front page to highlight its patch’s “anger” at a drink and drug-driver who killed a six-year-old girl.

Stoke-on-Trent daily The Sentinel has branded the six-year jail term handed to John Owen as an “insult” to the memory of his victim Sharlotte-Sky Naglis.

Owen, 46, was nearly twice over the drink-drive limit, had cocaine in his system and had used his mobile phone at the wheel when he hit the child and her father Kris as they made their way home from the shop.

The Sentinel splashed yesterday on Owen’s sentence, which had prompted Sharlotte’s mother Claire Reynolds to walk out of Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court in disgust upon hearing it.

Stoke insult

Editor Marc Waddington told HTFP: “Sharlotte was six when she died in June last year. John Owen could be out of prison by the time she would have been turning 10.

“It was immediately clear from the reaction to the sentence that people felt Owen had not been punished enough for his crime.

“We felt it was important that we reflected the anger and frustration felt not only by Sharlotte’s family, but the whole wider community that has been so deeply affected by the senseless loss of such a special little girl.”

Owen, who had a previous conviction for drink-driving, had pleaded guilty to death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

Speaking to The Sentinel, Ms Reynolds said: “It’s an insult. He won’t even serve half of the length of Sharlotte’s life

” We feel like our hopes were built up, the way the judge said his previous drink-driving offence from years ago was relevant.

“They’ve recently upped the sentence for dangerous driving so people from now on can be given life. That’s how serious it’s recognised to be.

“I know he couldn’t have been given that, but this is just disgusting.”