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"Cowardly" hit-and-run driver who killed teen cyclist jailed again after leading police on 100mph chase following release

Leo Meek was jailed for 40 months in 2021 for causing the death of Jack Jones, 15, by dangerous driving, and has been sentenced to 22 months in prison and a four-year driving ban for his latest offences

A "cowardly and callous" hit-and-run driver who killed a 15-year-old cyclist in 2021 and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison and a three-year driving ban has been jailed again for 22 months following his release having led police on a 100mph pursuit through 40mph zones in a stolen vehicle.

Leo Meek appeared in Chester Crown Court this week, having pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving and handling stolen goods, the judge sentencing him to one year and 10 months in prison and a 47-month driving ban.

The 25-year-old was, in 2021, sentenced to 40 months in prison after pleading guilty to causing the death by dangerous driving of cyclist Jack Jones, Meek driving at speeds of between 52 and 55mph in a 30mph zone when he hit the teenager who was cycling to his aunt's house.

Meek fled the scene, getting a taxi home, prosecutor Peter Hussey telling Liverpool Crown Court three years ago that "it is unlikely Jack knew what happened" due to the severity of the collision and at "no stage did he [Meek] report the collision to the police or even the ambulance service".

Having served time for causing the teenager's death, Meek will return to custody for his latest offences, an officer in an unmarked police vehicle spotting him driving a stolen vehicle on 19 July 2023. A chase ensued when Meek made a sudden turn and accelerated away, refusing to stop.

Cheshire Police released a video of the pursuit and reported the dangerous driver overtook multiple vehicles, tailgating them to force them to pull over, and picked up speeds of more than 100mph along winding narrow roads, more than double the 40mph speed limit.

Meek crashed the vehicle into a bridge above the M53 and fled the scene on foot. He was confirmed as the driver thanks to DNA recovered from the steering wheel airbag and subsequently arrested. Officers discovered three sets of registration plates in the boot of the car and it was confirmed the heavily damaged BMW had been stolen from the Manchester area a week earlier.

Leo Meek jailed for driving offence (Cheshire Police)
Leo Meek jailed for driving offence (Cheshire Police)

It was from the incident that killed Jack that Meek's DNA was already registered on the Police National Computer System, PC Cooling from Cheshire Police saying he "clearly had not learnt" from his previous conviction.

"Despite already causing the death of an innocent teenager through reckless driving and speeding, Meek clearly had not learnt from this tragic incident," they said. "It is a miracle that no other collisions occurred as a result of Meek's driving on 19 July. He put innocent members of the public at risk, reaching alarming speeds in excess of 100mph and eventually losing control of the stolen vehicle.

"Thankfully the bridge barrier prevented the vehicle from falling onto the motorway below, but the damage to the car and the barrier shows just how dangerous Meek's driving was. Even after the collision, Meek continued to try and evade police by fleeing the scene, showing no regard for the safety of his passenger. Just as he fled the scene after hitting the young cyclist in 2021, he again failed to stop and was only concerned with getting away.

Leo Meek jailed for driving offence (Cheshire Police)

"However, his efforts were to no avail. Thanks to DNA left on the airbag, officers from the Roads and Crime unit along with crime scene investigators confirmed Meek had been driving, tracked him down, and he is now behind bars for his actions. This highlights that there really is nowhere to hide – we will use every resource available to us to hold people to account. I hope this also serves as a reminder to those who commit crimes on Cheshire's roads that you will be caught."

Back in 2021, ahead of his sentencing for the death of the 15-year-old cyclist, Meek wrote a letter to the judge saying he took "full responsibility" for what had happened and that he "found it hard to come to terms with the harsh reality that Jack lost his life solely through my actions".

Sentencing Meek for the causing death by dangerous driving offence, Judge Andrew Menary QC called the driver "cowardly and callous" and said the "most likely explanation" for the collision was that he had given the cyclist "little or no room as you were overtaking him".

"A private hire vehicle just passed Jack, rather than pause to allow it to pass you attempted to squeeze through the gap," the judge said. "This was very bad driving in any view and Jack and his family have paid a terrible price."

Following her son's death, Jack's mother, Marjorie said he "had his whole life ahead of him" but "all our hopes and aspirations for Jack have just gone".

"A nightmare you cannot wake up from and know you will have for a lifetime… no words will ever be enough to express how much this hurts and what a huge loss we all have to come to terms with," she said.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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69 comments

Avatar
polainm | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Meek has a mental illness that is an addiction to reckless driving. Many thousands of drivers have the same addiction across the UK.

The prison system merely skills up criminals, so that isn't the answer. Cutting off body parts probably not going to get much support from the pro-motorist governments.

I do believe life-time bans should have a lower threshold but again, how to enforce. Ankle tracker is one option but then what if this is no deterrent?

Either way, such driver mindsets should be seen as a mental problem that needs fixing, rather than a law abiding issue. 

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Eton Rifle | 2 weeks ago
5 likes

Anyone else surprised that this POS didn't get a tougher sentence for stealing a car than for killing a cyclist ?

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polainm replied to Eton Rifle | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Yep. Clerical error?

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dubwise | 2 weeks ago
16 likes

Has the likes of Sunak and Briggs been asked to comment?

Or, it it for them basically "move along nothing to see here".

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Muddy Ford | 2 weeks ago
4 likes

I sincerely hope karma comes to this cunt and he ends up being dragged under the wheels of an HGV. A shame that he wasnt sent through the windscreen onto the road below when he hit that bridge. 

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Owd Big 'Ead | 2 weeks ago
12 likes

Excuse the profanity.

Cunt!

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ooblyboo replied to Owd Big 'Ead | 2 weeks ago
4 likes

There's really no other word for it.

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ErnieC replied to Owd Big 'Ead | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Owd Big 'Ead wrote:

Excuse the profanity. Cunt!

Not sure if that is actually an insult, now tonsil on the other hand certainly is. Tonsils serve absolutely no purpose. 

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hawkinspeter replied to ErnieC | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

ErnieC wrote:

Not sure if that is actually an insult, now tonsil on the other hand certainly is. Tonsils serve absolutely no purpose. 

Not quite:

Wikipedia wrote:

The tonsils are immunocompetent organs that serve as the immune system's first line of defense against ingested or inhaled foreign pathogens, and as such frequently engorge with blood to assist in immune responses to common illnesses such as the common cold. The tonsils have on their surface specialized antigen capture cells called microfold cells (M cells) that allow for the uptake of antigens produced by pathogens. These M cells then alert the B cells and T cells in the tonsil that a pathogen is present and an immune response is stimulated.[6] B cells are activated and proliferate in areas called germinal centers in the tonsil. These germinal centers are places where B memory cells are created and secretory antibody (IgA) is produced.

Even the appendix is considered to have a function - harbouring beneficial bacteria for when the digestive system gets flushed due to illness.

I'd vote for the coccyx being the most useless part of the human body apart from it's ability to cause lots of pain if you fall over and hit it.

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andystow replied to hawkinspeter | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

I'd vote for the coccyx being the most useless part of the human body apart from it's ability to cause lots of pain if you fall over and hit it.

"What a coccyx!" also has a great ring to it.

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hawkinspeter replied to andystow | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

andystow wrote:

hawkinspeter wrote:

I'd vote for the coccyx being the most useless part of the human body apart from it's ability to cause lots of pain if you fall over and hit it.

"What a coccyx!" also has a great ring to it.

I think the ring is usually a bit below it

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JLasTSR | 2 weeks ago
15 likes

It is almost impossible to stop people like this from getting back behind the wheel once they are not incarcerated.

But there should be a mechanism that triggers that puts someone like this into a longer prison sentence each time they are caught driving.

However, there are further problems with the justice system. It can be so very slow to actually do anything.

I know this is not anything like as serious but I had a car pull out in front of me last early autumn. I could not stop or avoid them in time. I was a bit injured and concussed. The driver blamed me for damaging their car. I had no idea what happened and still don't. The Police took the opposite view and after examining local CCTV had the collision on Video. They then charged the driver with careless driving the CPS increased the charge to Causing serious injury due to careless driving. They refused to be interviewed voluntarily. They were arrested in February and went to court in April and pleaded not guilty. They asked for the hearing to be in the crown court. The plea hearing was this week.
They pleaded not guilty. The trial date is set for November 2025 so they will be driving for two years after the collision. That seems unfair to both them and everybody else.

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wtjs replied to JLasTSR | 2 weeks ago
6 likes

They pleaded not guilty. The trial date is set for November 2025 so they will be driving for two years after the collision

I may have misunderstood this point, but can't he then plead guilty at the last minute and still receive all the benefits of a guilty plea- or does this dodge not apply to crown court cases? The driver must be 'bang to rights' or the police and CPS would have binned it- says a resident of Lancashire

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JLasTSR replied to wtjs | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

I do not know the answer to that. 

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qwerty360 replied to wtjs | 2 weeks ago
4 likes

wtjs wrote:

They pleaded not guilty. The trial date is set for November 2025 so they will be driving for two years after the collision

I may have misunderstood this point, but can't he then plead guilty at the last minute and still receive all the benefits of a guilty plea- or does this dodge not apply to crown court cases? The driver must be 'bang to rights' or the police and CPS would have binned it- says a resident of Lancashire

Benefits/reduction in sentencing for a guilty plea decrease the closer to the court case you make the plea. But there is a solid argument that the discounts don't tail off agressively enough, especially once the court time has been scheduled.

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Hirsute replied to JLasTSR | 2 weeks ago
8 likes

How is that unfair on the driver? They get to drive and hope that things will change between now and November so that the charges get reduced/dropped or they change their plea at the last minute.

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JLasTSR replied to Hirsute | 2 weeks ago
1 like

I would hate to have it hanging over me for all that time if the boot was on the other foot, they are currently out on bail which I imagine is an uncomfortable feeling, and if they really believe they are not guilty that is unfair that they have to wait that long to clear their name. 

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Mr Hoopdriver replied to JLasTSR | 2 weeks ago
7 likes

JLasTSR wrote:

I would hate to have it hanging over me for all that time if the boot was on the other foot, they are currently out on bail which I imagine is an uncomfortable feeling, and if they really believe they are not guilty that is unfair that they have to wait that long to clear their name. 

That is because you are a decent human being with a conscience.  The same can't be said for the driver that hit you.

If they were a decent human being, they would have :-

Accepted blame before the police took action.

Pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity in the Magistrate's Court.

Elected to stay at the Magistrate's Court, plead guilty and have it dealt with there and then (though the bench may have sent it up to a higher court if they thought their sentencing powers were insuffient) rather than put you through the ordeal of having to go to court and re-live the experience.

 

Please don't lose any sleep worrying about the driver, I can assure you, they are not losing sleep worrying about you.

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ROOTminus1 | 3 weeks ago
6 likes

People like this make me question my allegiance to the human rights convention. In light of the displayed inhumanity of Meek, cruel and unusual punishments seem more justifiable.

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john_smith replied to ROOTminus1 | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

To what end?

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ROOTminus1 replied to john_smith | 3 weeks ago
2 likes

I'm vehemently against capitol punishment, but further custodial sentences are a waste of effort and tax payer funds if rehabilitation is the aim, and will only result in an equally sociopathic person with a more adept criminal skillset.
In cases like these, a novel form of punishment seems fitting.

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mitsky replied to ROOTminus1 | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

My own suggested novel punishment (per my earlier comment):
"This is why, in extreme cases like this, I advocate that the criminal has shown such mindlessness that it should have its taste buds and libido permanently removed.
People may not agree with the expensive choice of long prison terms so only with the risk of loss of those liberties might such things reconsider their actions."

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john_smith replied to ROOTminus1 | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

But you haven't explained what you hope to achieve by it.

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chrisonabike replied to john_smith | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

Perhaps by "cruel and unusual punishment" they mean "actually stopping them driving".  That's currently seen as a very severe imposition - it will not only inconvenience you but it could change your social status!

You may have to change how you get to your work, or indeed change your job.  It may alter things for your family (you may not be able to move people / things around as you used to).  Same for your social / leisure activities.

All those have the potential to change your relationships.

Obviously going to prison isn't seen by most as an acolade, good for your employment prospects or social standing either.  However when you come out you can start to build your life again.  I suspect some people can't see beyond the bonnet in the driving ban case though - "I can't live my life without a car"!

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john_smith replied to chrisonabike | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

It's not really that severe an imposition. If you had a medical condition that rendered you incompetent to drive, you would have to accept the consequences. If you have an character defect that renders you incompetent to drive, you should accept the consequences too.

Anyway, given the reference made to the convention on human rights, I suspect the "cruel and unusual punishment" was intended to go beyond a mere driving ban

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quiff replied to john_smith | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

john_smith wrote:

It's not really that severe an imposition.

I suspect this was a slightly tongue in cheek reference to the reluctance with which we seem to ban people from driving; and the ease with which we seem to accept exceptional hardship pleas.   

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john_smith replied to quiff | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

I'm sure it was tongue in cheek, but there was some truth in the arguments put forward.

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JLasTSR replied to chrisonabike | 2 weeks ago
1 like

Chip him if travelling at more than 32mph he gets a shock

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ErnieC replied to ROOTminus1 | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

ROOTminus1 wrote:

People like this make me question my allegiance to the human rights convention. In light of the displayed inhumanity of Meek, cruel and unusual punishments seem more justifiable.

They just need to find a way to put something like that down quickly and painlessly and permanently. 

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Eton Rifle replied to ROOTminus1 | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

Like you, I am a huge believer in a justice system that offers redemption and have vigorously opposed capital punishment all my adult life but Christ, cunts (there is no other word) like this really test my beliefs.

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