HEARTBREAKING details regarding the "callous actions" that led to tragic death of four-year-old Violet-Grace Youens have been revealed on today's episode of ITV's Judge Rinder Crime Stories – with her parents appealing for tougher sentences on drivers who kill.

The programme told the harrowing story of how the little girl from Eccleston was hit at 80mph by a stolen car on Prescot Road while she was walking home with her grandmother Angela French.

She died the next day at Alder Hey Children's Hospital after Becky and Glenn Youens were told she had brain stem death, a detail revealed in the ITV programme that aired today at 2pm.

St Helens Star:

Becky Youens: 'They killed my daughter with a two tonne piece of metal' 

People in the St Helens community turned to social media to say how the programme had moved them to tears.

The programme spoke directly to Becky and Glenn, both 31, and Detective Chief Inspector Chris Sephton, who headed the investigation into the hit-and-run.

The parents spoke of their final moment with their precious daughter, whose last words to her dad Glenn was "I love you" before her life was cruelly snatched away later that day by Aidan McAteer and Dean Brennan who were in a stolen car travelling between 79 and 82mph.

Describing the moment she was told what happened Becky, a student nurse, said: "My phone rang at work and Glenn was crying saying that Violet and mum had been in an accident and I just knew it was bad and run out of my place of work.

"I remember pulling up at Whiston Hospital and going in the ambulance entrance and them telling me she had had two or three cardiac arrests.

St Helens Star:

Glenn Youens: 'It felt like someone ripped my heart out and stamped on it in front of me'

"Seeing her little body with all those tubes in her and her little head, she was really cold and I remember thinking this isn't good.

"They took her up to intensive care and stabilised her and said this is the maximum we can give her and I thought don't give up on her please, I didn't want to lose her. "

Glenn added: "We were told in Alder Hey that Violet had suspected brain stem death. I just heard the word death and asked what the chances of recovery was and he said there was less than a one per cent chance.

"It felt like someone ripped my heart out and stamped on it in front of me."

The programme described how the driver of the car Aidan McAteer and passenger Dean Brennan had to have run back past the vehicle, with DCI Sephton adding: "That's where Violet was laying so both McAteer and Brennan run past Violet in their escape."

St Helens Star:

The show included a reconstruction of the tragic incident that claimed Violet's life

Aidan McAteer, then 23, boarded a plane just three hours later to Amsterdam, with both men eventually being caught after members of both their families called police with information following a CCTV appeal.

Becky added: "While were are in Alder Hey being told that our beautiful daughter is not going to survive and that she's got brain stem death, he is on a flight to Amsterdam to clear his head and smoke some weed, because that was his priority.

"My mum, apart from the emotional and psychological scars, has injuries top to toe and nearly passed away herself.

"She has still got to have more surgeries now on her leg, is still walking around with a broken jaw and she's got no teeth. It's life long for my mum.

"I think the real reason she survived was to get me through and I'm really grateful I've got my mum, but I wish I had my little girl though.

McAteer was sentenced to nine years and four months for causing death by dangerous driving, to be served concurrently with a three year and four month sentence for causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Dean Brennan was sentenced to six years and eight months for aggravated vehicle taking and assisting an offender.

Becky and Glenn are campaigning for the law to change to have longer sentences for people who cause death while driving. They pointed out that McAteer will serve less time in prison than their daughter was alive.

DCI Sephton added: "I wasn't pleased with the sentence and I wish it had been more but I understand the way sentencing guidelines work. I just wish that causing death by dangerous driving had a different tariff, that's my honest view."

St Helens Star:

Violet with Glenn, Becky and her little brother Oliver

The programme stated that the Ministry of Justice say they are committed to making sure the sentencing for driving offences are appropriate and will bring a change in the law when Parliamentary time allows, but Glenn and Becky said that they are frustrated with the progress.

Becky said: "They will come out of prison in a few years' time and will get to carry on with their lives like normal, how is that fair?

"The punishment must fit the crime, they killed my daughter with a two tonne piece of metal.

"They killed her by the way they were driving that car which was reckless speeds, aggressively and dangerously."

Here is how some people reacted on social media

Sandra Hesketh Such a sad heartbreaking story, the law must change, these low life’s should never be allowed out, my heart goes out to you both and your family, such a beautiful little girl taken away from her family far too soon, 💜💜💜💜

Jayne Graham Violet has without a doubt touched the whole of St. Helens. I watched the program through tears 😢 she will be so proud of her Mummy & Daddy 💜

Rach Golder Heartbreaking to watch and the sentencing was a joke. They took your baby’s life not to mention the injuries to her nan. The sentences should reflect the crime and the lifelong damage it has caused.
Love to you all 💜

Vicky Slevin Well done to you both, so very brave of you. Their faces make me so angry! Everyone I’ve seen on the school run had clearly been watching and crying. She would be so proud to you all 💜