Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Family of 17-year-old Felicity Pacey tells driver Jack Burkhill “we trusted you and you shattered our world” as 8-year prison sentence expires

By Vaseline May31,2024
Family of 17-year-old Felicity Pacey tells driver Jack Burkhill “we trusted you and you shattered our world” as 8-year prison sentence expires

“She trusted you, you were the adult, she trusted you to never endanger her life.”

Felicity Pacey’s family made emotional statements during Jack Burkhill’s sentencing at Lincoln Crown Court today (Friday, May 31).

Burkhill, of Seventh Avenue, Grantham, was jailed for eight years and three months.

Felicity Pacey, died at the age of 17.Felicity Pacey, died at the age of 17.
Felicity Pacey, died at the age of 17.

Burkhill, 21, killed Felicity Pacey when he lost control of his car on Belvoir Road, in Denton.

He was drunk on an estimated 95 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters (legal limit 80), which would have impaired his driving ability.

He was also reportedly traveling at speeds of 100 miles per hour when he lost control of the car, which rolled off the road and went off the road.

Luck "Fliss" Pacey.  Photo: Lincs PoliceLuck "Fliss" Pacey.  Photo: Lincs Police
Felicity ‘Fliss’ Pacey. Photo: Lincs Police

Felicity was thrown from the car during the incident. The court considered it likely that she was not wearing a seat belt.

The court heard how Jack left the scene, leaving Felicity’s sister Rhiannah – his girlfriend at the time – to call her parents and tell them what had happened, forcing mum and dad to go through the traumatic experience of rushing to their daughter’s side , self-administer CPR and stop traffic and people from taking photos and videos while waiting for emergency services to arrive.

The court was filled with family and friends who had come to see Burkhill sentenced and in emotional victim impact statements in court, Felicity’s mother, father and sister said they will never be free from the burden of loss and pain.

Jack Burkhill, 21.Jack Burkhill, 21.
Jack Burkhill, 21.

Mother Helen described her daughter as ‘beautiful, intelligent, confident, thoughtful and caring’ and told the court she was looking forward to an independent life after her 18th birthday.

She planned to take a mother-daughter trip to Italy to celebrate her daughter’s milestone.

“My last words I said to her were ‘have fun,’ and Fliss said ‘we will.’ These words will haunt me forever,” she said.

Addressing Birkhill directly, she said: “As a result of your extreme flaunting… you murdered our precious girl.

“You left the scene like a coward and left us to deal with the consequences.

“She trusted you, you were the adult, she trusted you not to endanger her life.”

The family described the struggle they have endured since losing their youngest daughter.

They accused Birkhall of showing little to no remorse for his actions, having since seen him driving and describing seeing him with a new girlfriend.

Before the incident, the family described how they had known Burkhill since elementary school, even taking him in when he became homeless and helping him learn to drive.

On the day in question, Burkhill had helped Felicity’s father Jonathan, where he had two pints before eating.

He, Rhiannah and Felicity had then decided to go to a nearby pub where he had three more pints. The incident happened after he left the pub.

Another friend had asked to see what the car was capable of and Burkhill obliged, but after speeding around a corner, the friend, along with Rhiannah, soon began asking Burkhill to slow down and drive more carefully.

Shortly afterwards he lost control of the car.

The court was told that before he left, Jonathan Burkhill told Burkhill not to “drive like an idiot”.

Mr Pacey told the court that since the incident he had been broken and could no longer look at photos and videos from happier times.

“Jack left us forever broken,” he said.

“You took everything from me, you are a narcissist and I will never forgive you.

“Felicity was my little girl, the glue that held our family together.

“I welcomed him into my home, I trusted him with my daughters and he promised he would take care of them and never hurt them.”

Sister Rhiannah said the loss of her sister left a void in her heart that could never be whole.

“The fact that you were not only a reckless driver, but also my boyfriend at the time, I trusted you.

“You were supposed to protect us, but instead your actions destroyed our world.”

She added: “Rhiannah was my rock, my partner-in-crime and my best friend.”

Three other friends of Felicity, along with her grandmother, also provided written statements to the court.

Phil Gibbs, defending Burkhill, passed a statement from him to the court saying he accepted he would receive a significant sentence.

“He has lived this past year knowing that an inevitably long sentence awaited him,” he said.

He said Burkhill had spoken about his regrets at the time.

Mr Gibbs noted that Burkhill had no previous convictions and had pleaded guilty to the charge at the last court hearing.

Burkhill’s defense presented several statements from friends and former employers describing him as having a positive work ethic and contributing well to his community.

They said Burkhill was “remorseful for everything he did.”

Former employers describe him as ‘sensitive and sensible’, ‘thoughtful’ and ‘articulate’.

Passing judgment, Judge Simon Hirst said: “It is very clear that Felicity was an incredibly loved young woman who had the brightest future ahead of her.

“Your actions changed all that for her and for those who loved her.”

Burkhill was sentenced to eight years and three months in prison and disqualified from driving for nine years and 45 days.

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