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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
mitsky | 2 months ago
2 likes

This criminal has shown what it thinks of the law, society and how it's behaviour affects other people's lives.

It simply doesn't care.

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.

Avatar
john_smith replied to mitsky | 2 months ago
0 likes

Nice idea, but not how we do things in the civilized world.

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mitsky replied to john_smith | 2 months ago
7 likes

Where is this civilised world that you speak of?

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john_smith replied to mitsky | 2 months ago
0 likes

Right here in Western Europe, for a start.

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mitsky replied to john_smith | 2 months ago
7 likes

That is a region, not a world.
Whether or not it is civilised is entirely debatable.

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john_smith replied to mitsky | 2 months ago
0 likes

I didn't say it's a world. Maybe Mr Putin's Russia would be more your kind of place?

Avatar
ErnieC replied to john_smith | 2 months ago
1 like

john_smith wrote:

I didn't say it's a world. Maybe Mr Putin's Russia would be more your kind of place?

Or the country that killed 26000 women and children in concentration camps during the Boer war? 

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grOg replied to mitsky | 2 months ago
0 likes

What is a civilised world?
everywhere people live in well-organized and developed societies.
 

Avatar
mitsky replied to john_smith | 2 months ago
2 likes

john_smith wrote:

Nice idea, but not how we do things in the civilized world.

Where is this civilised world that you speak of?

Avatar
john_smith replied to mitsky | 2 months ago
0 likes

You asked the same question earlier, and I answered it. Are you a bot?

Avatar
delthebike | 2 months ago
7 likes

This sentence would seem to be more appropriate: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c3ggrz2d21zo

12 years jail and 13 year ban.

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john_smith replied to delthebike | 2 months ago
1 like

My feeling would be a lifetime ban unless the gentleman can provided very compelling evidence that his attitude has changed fundamentally.

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NOtotheEU replied to john_smith | 2 months ago
9 likes
john_smith wrote:

My feeling would be a lifetime ban unless the gentleman can provided very compelling evidence that his attitude has changed fundamentally.

If only they'd given him a ban after he murdered a cyclist he wouldn't have done it again . . . . oh, wait . . .

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ErnieC replied to john_smith | 2 months ago
0 likes

john_smith wrote:

My feeling would be a lifetime ban unless the gentleman can provided very compelling evidence that his attitude has changed fundamentally.

How? Write another letter describing how sorry he is? Mitsky has the right idea. 

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wycombewheeler replied to delthebike | 2 months ago
7 likes

delthebike wrote:

This sentence would seem to be more appropriate: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c3ggrz2d21zo

12 years jail and 13 year ban.

how is a ban going to stop someone who drives stolen cars? Until we require that cars will not start without a valid driver at the controls, individuals like this can only be stopped by locking them up.

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RoubaixCube | 2 months ago
11 likes

Quote:

"This was very bad driving in any view and Jack and his family have paid a terrible price."

Do you want to know what is even more terrible?

This excuse for human excrement only getting a 3 year jail sentence for what he did. 

A life sentence isnt going to bring Jack back. Its sad and unfortunate but Whats done is done... A three year jail term is not just a slap in the face, Its a clenched fist. Even more so as the scrote fled the scene.

Three years isnt justice. Its injustice. And to prove it all. He got released then started causing trouble again. Clearly the judge who originally sentenced him to Jail should have a moment of self-reflection and have a tougher stance on those who deems to be upto no good and will never change.

"Justice demands that courts should impose punishment befitting the crime so that the courts reflect public abhorrence of the crime..."

Not saying or advocating that people should be publicly lynched. But maybe that would serve as good deterrent in lieu of real Justice being served.

Avatar
jaymack replied to RoubaixCube | 2 months ago
8 likes

The best 'justice' would be for those like this awful individual to be rehabilitated and never bother the justice system again. As a society we should be ashamed at the conveyer belt that recycles offenders back to jail time after time. This doesn't deny or down play Meek's personal responsibility it's just that, as anyone who attends court regularly will attest, this is a daily occurrence up and down the land piling misery on individual victims, their neighbours and society at large. Douglas Hurd, former Tory Home Secretary, was right when he observed that prison is an expensive way of making bad people worse.

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Hirsute replied to jaymack | 2 months ago
2 likes

He still needs to be kept off the roads to protect the public. What is the alternative to prison that will achieve this ? House arrest? Or something more draconian that would undermine civil liberties for all of us? Cars being linked to personal id and only starting if the person has a valid licence.

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LeadenSkies replied to jaymack | 2 months ago
3 likes

You can't rehabilitate someone who doesn't recognise that they have done anything wrong. This individual drove dangerously, killed a child, left the scene and that didn't even bother his conscience enough to make an anonymous call to the ambulance service to get some medical intervention. He had three years to reflect on his actions and the devastation they caused but clearly that wasn't long enough and not only did he get back in a car while banned, he again drove with no reguard for anyone else in an attempt to save his own skin. Prison may make him worse but ten or fifteen years inside would seriously reduce his capacity to do harm in his lifetime and it would send a strong message to others considering doing something similar.

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Spangly Shiny replied to LeadenSkies | 2 months ago
1 like

Trouble is that the prisons are full so where exactly do you bang up this sort of amoral POS? 

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ErnieC replied to Spangly Shiny | 2 months ago
0 likes

Spangly Shiny wrote:

Trouble is that the prisons are full so where exactly do you bang up this sort of amoral POS? 

End of a rope/lethal injection/bullet?

Avatar
grOg replied to LeadenSkies | 2 months ago
1 like

A lifetime breaking rocks is the go; keeps unrepentant miscreants off the streets for good and serves as a warning to would-be miscreants..

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ErnieC replied to jaymack | 2 months ago
0 likes

jaymack wrote:

The best 'justice' would be for those like this awful individual to be rehabilitated and never bother the justice system again. As a society we should be ashamed at the conveyer belt that recycles offenders back to jail time after time. This doesn't deny or down play Meek's personal responsibility it's just that, as anyone who attends court regularly will attest, this is a daily occurrence up and down the land piling misery on individual victims, their neighbours and society at large. Douglas Hurd, former Tory Home Secretary, was right when he observed that prison is an expensive way of making bad people worse.

Do you think something like that could ever be rehabilitated?

Avatar
ErnieC replied to RoubaixCube | 2 months ago
0 likes

Lynching sounds appropriate. 

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Hirsute | 2 months ago
9 likes

Why is he being allowed out again ?

Should have a permanent tracker, banned from driving for life and have to account for all journeys.

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Clem Fandango | 2 months ago
21 likes

And  it's dangerous cycling that's the main issue of our time....

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a1white | 2 months ago
19 likes

We need to start bringing in lifetime driving bans. Absolutely no reason why this low life should be drving a car on on our roads again

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hawkinspeter replied to a1white | 2 months ago
5 likes

a1white wrote:

We need to start bringing in lifetime driving bans. Absolutely no reason why this low life should be drving a car on on our roads again

Exactly.

If you're found at fault for ending someone's life whilst driving, then it's been absolutely demonstrated that you are not suitable for holding a driving license ever again.

This is a clear demonstration of our justice system being not fit for purpose.

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LeadenSkies replied to a1white | 2 months ago
11 likes

I am all for stronger sentencing of those that kill or seriously injure through dangerous driving, I am not sure a life ban from driving is going to be effective for idiots like this. Given he chose to drive a stolen car full of stolen goods, I am thinking he wouldn't have worried about not having a licence.

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brooksby replied to LeadenSkies | 2 months ago
1 like

I was about to say: what difference will a driving ban make to this person?  He was driving while banned, the second time he was arrested.

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