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Family outraged over light sentence for driver who killed boy

THE FAMILY of a teenage boy, Kaylan Hippsley, who was tragically killed by an intoxicated driver, have expressed deep disappointment over the driver’s sentencing, calling it “absolutely disgusting” and an “insult” to Kaylan’s memory. Kaylan, just 13 years old, was struck and fatally injured by a Ford Fiesta driven by Harley Whiteman, 19, on Brecon Road, Hirwaun, at approximately 6:15 pm on February 29. The incident occurred as Kaylan was standing on a pavement outside a Co-op store with his friends.

Despite immediate efforts by those at the scene, Kaylan never regained consciousness, as the defendant sped away. At a sentencing hearing held at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Tuesday, April 30, it was detailed how Whiteman initially fled the crash site before returning and attempting to prevent members of the public from aiding Kaylan.

Whiteman dropped off his two passengers and then returned to restrict assistance at the crash site, even obstructing a student nurse performing CPR. He callously remarked, “Do you think I give a f*** about this kid on the floor? Why the f*** don’t you all just leave him and stop doing that.”

Tragically, Kaylan passed away in hospital on March 3 without regaining consciousness. He lived with his grandmother, Kay Hippsley, having lost his father at the age of six. Kaylan enjoyed spending time with friends in the village and at the YMCA.

The family’s statement strongly condemned the sentence, expressing feelings of being “let down by the justice system.” They described the given sentence of six years and nine months, with Whiteman serving only 3 years and 4 months, as “absolutely disgusting” and “an insult” to Kaylan’s memory. They articulated their immense sense of loss and how this has irrevocably altered their lives.

In addition to criticising the lenient sentencing, the family highlighted the responsibility they believe Whiteman’s companions bore, even though they were not charged. They conveyed that the tragedy had shattered their lives and voiced their deep grief and frustration with the justice system.

Describing Kaylan, the family expressed how he was a cherished and intelligent young boy, excelling in rugby and football, and was greatly loved by his family, friends, and school community. They described his sudden and tragic passing as devastating, leaving them heartbroken and struggling to comprehend the loss of a young life full of promise.

The family extended heartfelt gratitude to all who tried to help Kaylan, including emergency services, medics, friends, and the community of Hirwaun for their support during this difficult time.

During the sentencing hearing, it was recounted how Whiteman’s behaviour at the scene was deemed “abhorrent and heartless” by Judge Jeremy Jenkins, who described Whiteman as “aggressive, unruly and unrepentant” upon arrest. Whiteman received a sentence of six years and nine months in a young offenders’ institute, alongside an eight-year and four-month driving disqualification.