Man admits causing death of Violet-Grace Youens
A man has admitted causing the death of a four-year-old girl in a hit-and-run.
Violet-Grace Youens was struck while walking in St Helens, Merseyside, on March 24.
Aidan McAteer, 23, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court via prison video link to causing her death by dangerous driving.
Violet-Grace’s mother, Rebecca, wept in the public gallery as she sat hand-in-hand with husband Glenn in the public gallery.
McAteer also admitted causing serious injury to Violet-Grace’s grandmother, Angela French, 55, from Golborne, who is recovering in hospital.
His co-defendant, Dean Brennan, 27, also appearing from HMP Liverpool, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking and assisting an offender.
Both will be sentenced on May 19.
Judge Dennis Watson QC told the pair they were facing lengthy jail sentences as he further remanded them in custody.
McAteer sat with his head bowed for the majority of the 13-minute hearing.
Mr and Mrs Youens did not take their eyes off the screen showing the defendants as they were joined in a packed public gallery by family and friends all wearing violet-coloured ribbons.
In the days after the crash, McAteer’s mother Alicia made a public appeal for her son to return home after he fled the country.
He was eventually arrested - thought to be at Manchester Airport - and questioned by detectives.
Brennan admitted obtaining McAteer’s passport and supplying it to him.
McAteer’s barrister, Lloyd Morgan, said his client had been “anxious” to be sentenced on Wednesday.
He then asked if McAteer could be dealt with next month by the prison video link.
Judge Watson replied that the importance of the case required the defendants to be produced.