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Sentences handed down for manslaughter of police officer

Constable Phillipa Reynolds

Constable Phillipa Reynolds

A man who admitted the manslaughter of a police constable has received an indeterminate sentence at Derry’s court.

Shane Christopher Frane will only be considered for release by the Northern Ireland Parole Commission after he has served a minimum of six years in jail.

Frane, whose address was given on court papers as c/o Maghaberry, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 27-year-old police constable Philippa Reynolds on February 9, last year.

He also admitted burglary, criminal damage, driving whilst unfit and other motoring offences.

Constable Reynolds was fatally injured when the stolen 4x4 driven by Frane crashed into the armoured car she was a passenger in.

His co-accused Conor Tyrone Clarence, of Bonds Hill, received a determinate sentence of three and a half years.

He will serve 21 months of this in jail and a further 21 months on licence.

The 24-year-old admitted aggravated vehicle taking causing death, burglary and criminal damage.

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Babington said nothing he was going to say “is going to take away from Phillipa’s family and the loss they have suffered”.

He said the offences admitted by the defendants “represent grave offending”.

The judge said the men had gone on a drink and drugs binge, stole a car and then drove it at speeds up to 80mph.

He said this was an act of ‘the most serious recklessness’.

“You then acted like the cowards you were and made yourselves scarce in the immediate aftermath of the incident.”

The judge added: “ You could have killed or injured anyone or any number of people and it was Philippa Reynolds’ misfortune and that of her family that she was fatally injured in the ensuing impact”.

Judge Babington said the 27-year-old’s death was ‘particularly sad’ because she was “doing a job she loved and was serving the community at the time that she was so tragically killed”.

He said Frane’s sentence could broadly be considered the same as a sentence of life imprisonment.

 

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