'Our future has been completely ruined': Heartbroken mum reveals devastation after danger driver causes death of Dean Fearon in horror smash

A danger driver who caused the death of his friend in a horror smash has been jailed.

By Alex Storey
Friday, 26th November 2021, 2:35 pm

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Dean Fearon, a 29-year-old dad, died after the silver Ford Mondeo he was travelling in came off Sulgrave Road in Washington, Tyne and Wear, and collided with a tree.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that driver Lee Owens had been travelling at speeds of between 58-66mph – double the 30mph limit – before he fled the scene on June 20.

Mr Fearon, who was a front seat passenger and who was wearing his seatbelt, was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries but sadly died two days later.

Dean Fearon.

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Prosecutor Gavin Doig told the court that witnesses heard a loud bang and the sound of screeching tyres, with one telling police he saw the car go airborne after coming off the road.

The court also heard that following the crash, Owens went to Mr Fearon's address where he spoke to the victim's partner.

He was described as acting "weird" and when asked where her partner was, Owens replied: "In car, crashed, Sulgrave."

He left and was not seen again until he was found and arrested by police over two hours after the crash.

Lee Owens

Owens consumed alcohol following the incident and a sample found 178mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, before telling police: "I tried to hoy a lot down me."

The 35-year-old, of Newriggs, in Washington, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

Mr Fearon's partner submitted a written victim impact statement which told the court she was planning on proposing on the day of his 30th birthday but was

instead planning his funeral.

She said: "Mine and my whole children's future has been completely ruined by Lee Owens.

"Dean went to work to provide, we had big dreams of owning our own home. Me and Dean decided we would get married.

"I still sit and wait for him to come home. I stress about the future for me and my girls. My daughters are struggling to come to terms with this.

"I feel vulnerable in every way possible. I couldn't even face leaving the house, I couldn't leave or face anyone.

"Mine and my little girl's lives will never be the same again. Pictures and poems don't replace the devastation.

"I know in my heart of hearts I will never have justice. I'm really angry Lee left the scene and left Dean to die."

Nick Lane, mitigating, said: "Nothing that I'm about to say can in any way attempt to minimise the impact of Mr Owens' actions on Mr Fearon and his family.

"Mr Owens has specifically asked me to state his deep remorse for the consequences of his actions on that Sunday afternoon earlier this year.

"Since his remand in custody which was on the 11th of October he has engaged and completed work and he has gained employment in custody."

Judge Christopher Prince sentenced Owens to five years and four months behind bars as well as banning him from driving for 56 months.

The judge said: "Nothing any court can say or any sentence a court can pass can ever reflect the degree of loss or suffering caused by an offence such as this.

"In this incident the defendant was driving in that 30mph speed limit at between 58-66mph, that is to say double the speed limit.

"This is a terrible and tragic loss."

Dean’s mother, Michelle, said: “Lee Owens has no remorse for what he has done. Why did he leave the scene, leaving Dean in the car to die the way he did?

“I will never have those answers. When does my grief begin? My life will never go back to normal.

“I had Dean when I was 15 years old and fought to keep him.”

Dean’s partner, Leanne, added: “A long line of loved ones from my household to many more are all absolutely torn apart. Mine and my little girls’ lives will never be the same again.

“We’re struggling every day to keep our heads up, with daily tasks and life itself beyond repair.

“A locket of his picture and an urn around my neck, of my man’s body. The body that’s meant to be here holding us three little ladies.

“Where is the sorry in that? Pictures and poems don’t replace the pain or devastation. Teddies called ‘Daddy’ don’t replace him.”

PC Kevin Paskin, of Northumbria Police’s Motor Patrols department, said afterwards: “Our thoughts go out to Dean’s family and friends – he had everything to live for and has been cruelly taken away from them.

“This is another sobering reminder of the irreversible consequences that speeding and driving dangerously can have. Owens proved himself to be a danger when behind the wheel and his decision that afternoon has destroyed several lives.

“He must live with that on his conscience, as Dean’s loved ones face the impossible task of trying to fill the void left by him.

“This is a tragic outcome and one that I hope acts as a lesson to everybody in our communities. The laws of the road are there for a reason – and by ignoring them, you are putting not only your own life in danger but countless others.”