Drink-driver who crashed into a six-year-old girl at 48mph is jailed

Drink-driver who crashed into a six-year-old girl at 48mph is jailed

Drink-driver, 46, who was twice the legal limit as he mounted the kerb and crashed into a six-year-old girl at 48mph is jailed for six years for death by dangerous driving

  • John Stephen Owen was handed an eight-year driving ban after pleading guilty
  • Sharlotte Naglis was pronounced dead after being hit by Owen’s Skoda Fabia
  • She walked on the pavement with her father, Kris Naglis, in Endon Road, Norton
  • Staffordshire Police said that the 46-year-old had been drinking in Leek

A drink-driver who was twice the legal limit as he crashed into a six-year-old girl after also taking cocaine has been jailed for six years and two months.

Staffordshire Police said John Stephen Owen was also handed an eight-year driving ban after pleading guilty at a previous hearing to causing the death of Sharlotte Naglis by dangerous driving.

Sharlotte was pronounced dead at the scene after being hit by Owen’s Skoda Fabia as she walked on the pavement with her father, Kris Naglis, in Endon Road, Norton, north Staffordshire, in June last year.

In a statement released after Owen, of The Square, Oakamoor, was sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, the Staffordshire force said the 46-year-old had been drinking in Leek.

The statement said: ‘Whilst approaching a bend at speed, Owen lost control of his car, crossed on to the other side of the road, mounted the kerb and collided with Sharlotte, who had been walking on the pavement with her father towards their home.

‘Forensic collision investigators calculated Owen’s speed 200 metres prior to the collision as being in the region of 48mph.’

Owen, who was injured in the collision after being thrown from the car due to not wearing a seatbelt, was found to be almost twice the legal alcohol limit and had cocaine in his system.

Staffordshire Police said John Stephen Owen (pictured) was also handed an eight-year driving ban after pleading guilty at a previous hearing to causing the death of Sharlotte Naglis by dangerous driving

Sharlotte (above) was pronounced dead at the scene after being hit by Owen’s Skoda Fabia as she walked on the pavement with her father, Kris Naglis, in Endon Road, Norton, north Staffordshire, in June last year

Owen, who was injured in the collision after being thrown from the car due to not wearing a seatbelt, was found to be almost twice the legal alcohol limit and had cocaine in his system. Pictured: The funeral of Sharlotte at St Anne’s Church in Brown Edge, Staffordshire, on July 5, 2021

The court was told that he was on a hands-free phone call in the moments before the collision, which could have affected his concentration despite it not being a specific offence.

Prosecutor Philip Vollans said: ‘The defendant was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine and was travelling over the speed limit in a 30mph zone and there is evidence indicating he was using a mobile phone at the time, or just before.

‘He was under the influence of drink and drugs.’

Mr Vollans said: ‘He drove his Skoda at speed and approached the bend at a dangerous speed. The impact speed was 48mph.

‘As a consequence of the levels of intoxication through drink and drugs it had a substantial effect on his ability to control the vehicle.’

Pc Gavin Knott, from Staffordshire and West Midlands Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: ‘Today’s sentence can in no way make up for Sharlotte’s death but I would like to thank her family and the wider community for their support whilst this complex and detailed investigation took place.

‘This collision was entirely avoidable and has robbed a family of a happy and loving daughter.’

In a statement, the family said: ‘Sharlotte was so beautiful, full of life, always smiling, sassy, so brave and happy.

‘Sharlotte just started her gymnastics classes which she loved and was shining so bright in. She was loved by everyone that met her, so caring and loving.

‘Every night since she was born she would never sleep without holding her mum’s hand. There will never be another child like her for anyone who met her. She was taken so early from us and will never be forgotten.’

Sharlotte’s devastated mother, Claire Reynolds, read a victim impact statement to the court, in which she said she knew Sharlotte ‘had been meant to go far in this world’

She added: ‘It’s impossible to truly describe how one person’s actions have affected the rest of mine and the children’s lives’

Sharlotte’s devastated mother, Claire Reynolds, read a victim impact statement to the court, in which she said she knew Sharlotte ‘had been meant to go far in this world’.

She added: ‘It’s impossible to truly describe how one person’s actions have affected the rest of mine and the children’s lives.

‘Nothing will never be the same: getting excited, looking forward to family times, feeling complete, feeling no pain… waking up with a smile… these things have all gone.

‘All I had with Sharlotte was six wonderful years. No parent should ever lose their child, especially when their child is taken away so cruelly, at such a young age and with so many dreams and so much life ahead of her.

‘We’ve lost more than anybody can even begin to imagine.’

She added: ‘Sharlotte missed out on so much due to Covid-19, she would always ask how long this virus is going to be around for as she missed her friends and school. We had so many plans for when the virus went but she will never be able to do any of them.

‘Sharlotte was full of energy and full of life, she never kept still and always wanted to do something or learn something more.’

Ms Reynolds, 37, described her daughter as ‘loving, caring, brave, thoughtful, clever and full of energy’

In a statement released after Owen, of The Square, Oakamoor, was sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, the Staffordshire force said the 46-year-old had been drinking in Leek

Ms Reynolds, 37, described her daughter as ‘loving, caring, brave, thoughtful, clever and full of energy,’ adding: ‘She had just started swimming lessons, and every time she swam to the end of the pool, she’d give me thumbs up with a massive grin because she made it across.

‘One time she smiled at me and made her fingers into a love heart for me.

‘I love her so much and miss everything about her. There will never be another Sharlotte.’

Owen was interviewed on November 8 and gave a prepared statement in which apologised for Sharlotte’s death, but said he had no recollection of the crash because of his brain injury.

The defence barrister said Owen had not been able to work since the crash, and had stopped drinking for good.

He said Owen had been described as a ‘good father to his two daughters’ and as having ‘a heart of gold’.

Judge Paul Glenn said Owen’s previous conviction was relevant. He said: ‘This is a bad case of its type.

‘You killed an innocent six-year-old child by driving at excessive speed, 48mph in a 30mph limit shortly before the collision. You lost control of your car while under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. In each case, close to double the proscribed limit.

‘Sharlotte had been to the shop with her dad, walking properly on the pavement when you mounted the kerb and struck her.

‘Death, mercifully, would have been instantaneous. Her father was also struck.’

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