Devastated parents of a schoolgirl killed by a speeding drug driver slam ‘disgusting’ sentence

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Aaron Carter will serve less than half his sentence for killing Tehleigher Bunting

The devastated parents of a schoolgirl killed by a speeding drug driver have slammed his “disgusting” prison sentence.

Cannabis user Aaron Carter, 38, was driving almost twice the speed limit when he mowed down and killed 14-year-old Tehleigher Bunting. The teenager was walking arm-in-arm with a friend along Braunstone Lane in Leicester at 11am on 26 October last year when Carter ploughed into them.

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As the car mounted the kerb, brave Tehleigher pushed her friend out of the way while she took the full force of the impact. Paramedics desperately tried to save Tehleigher but she died of horrific injuries while her friend survived thanks to the teen’s selfless actions.

Carter was taken to hospital but later arrested and tests revealed he had 3.7mcg of cannabis in his blood - almost twice the legal level. CCTV showed Carter was driving a Vauxhall Astra at 55mph in a 30mph zone when he lost control while dangerously overtaking another car.

Carter will only serve half his sentence

Tehleigher Bunting. Picture: Leicestershire Police / SWNSTehleigher Bunting. Picture: Leicestershire Police / SWNS
Tehleigher Bunting. Picture: Leicestershire Police / SWNS | Leicestershire Police / SWNS

This month Carter admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for nine years at Leicester Crown Court. Judge Mark Watson ruled that Carter, of Leicester, would serve half his sentence and would have more months deducted for time spent on remand.

Tehleigher’s parents have blasted the judge and are demanding the sentence is reviewed. The teenager’s step-dad Shane Patterson branded the sentence “absolutely disgusting”.

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Tehleigher Bunting, front left, pictured with her family. Picture: Leicestershire Police / SWNSTehleigher Bunting, front left, pictured with her family. Picture: Leicestershire Police / SWNS
Tehleigher Bunting, front left, pictured with her family. Picture: Leicestershire Police / SWNS | Leicestershire Police / SWNS

He said: “He was given a nine year sentence but now has been told he will only serve around three years and ten months of this in prison and then will be out of the streets again. He’s literally killed another human being and he’s going to be walking the streets in a few years.

“What’s that telling the rest of society? In my eyes it should be life for a life. He has gone out intentionally, not caring about another.”

Carter had been warned not to drive

Aaron Carter has been jailed. Picture: Leicestershire Police / SWNSAaron Carter has been jailed. Picture: Leicestershire Police / SWNS
Aaron Carter has been jailed. Picture: Leicestershire Police / SWNS | Leicestershire Police / SWNS

Carter, who suffers from epileptic seizures, had been repeatedly warned not to drive and surrender his licence to DVLA but was not banned. In court his defence barrister claimed he was “extremely remorseful” and had told police officers he had wanted to take his own life following his arrest.

Tehleigher’s mum Zoe Denton said: “When he comes out again, how do you know he’s not going to do it to another child? When he gets out of jail, he’s just going to get back in a car again.

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“He shouldn’t ever have been driving but was driving anyway. In that court, he didn’t look sorry. It didn’t even look like he cared.”

The family have now written to the Attorney General’s Office to ask for the sentence to be reviewed under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme.

In 2021, the Court of Appeal increased 106 sentences following applications under the ULS scheme. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 raised the maximum penalties for causing death by dangerous driving from 14 years’ to life.

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