THE parents of Violet-Grace Youens have recalled the heartbreaking final moments of their daughter's life, as MPs prepare for Monday's parliamentary debate about dangerous driving laws.

Glenn and Becky Youens, the parents of the four-year-old hit-and-run victim, are campaigning for Violet's Law, which calls for life sentences for dangerous drivers who kill.

Their e-petition has amassed more than 164,000 names, triggering the debate by MPs at Westminster Hall, which will be heard on Monday.

Speaking at a regional media briefing at the St Helens Star's offices ahead of the debate, Glenn and Becky courageously described their final hours with Violet, the subsequent criminal case and their dismay at the length of sentences given to the men who were in the car that killed her.

St Helens Star:

Describing the moments she learned Violet had been seriously injured, Becky Youens, 31, said: "Glenn phoned me at about 3.25pm at work, when I heard him crying on the phone I knew something bad had happened.

"When I got to Whiston Hospital I went into shock. They had to put me in a bed and gave me anti-sickness and a nurse had to keep coming and liaising with me.

"They said: 'Violet has had another cardiac arrest but we have got her back and we need to get her to Alder Hey now, we are going to bring her through and she's going to have lots of tubes and wires coming from her'.

"We were escorted to Alder Hey and they said that they 'didn't think she was going to survive'.

"We didn't believe that. We thought she was going to be our miracle, so we asked to see the surgeon because they said she had brain stem death and, in the end, it took for him and a neurologist to show us the scans which showed (the extent of her injuries).

"We had a bedside vigil, and then we went down to theatre and we said goodbye and myself and Glenn were in bed with Violet. She battled, but in the end, they took her tube out and she didn't breathe.

"I will never forget this bit sinking in for the final time, just thinking please breathe sweetheart, please breathe."

St Helens Star:

In the subsequent criminal case, Liverpool Crown Court heard how Aidan McAteer, then 23, and passenger Dean Brennan, 27, had ran past Violet-Grace as she lay injured on the ground after the car had struck her on Prescot Road.

McAteer, who fled to Amsterdam within hours of the collision, pleaded guilty to causing Violet-Grace's death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury to her grandmother Angela French, who suffered life-changing injuries.

Brennan was jailed for six years and eight months after admitting the aggravated taking of a vehicle and assisting an offender.

Becky added added: "Before they were sentenced we were pulled to one side and told 'don't expect double figures'.

"I was like: 'Don't expect double figures for my baby's life, a four-year-old girl's life? Don't expect double figures?' Then it got worse because the nine years and four months is halved (due to parole).

"We were told we couldn't read our victim impact statements out (in full) because it would be too upsetting for McAteer to hear.

READ> Becky and Glenn Youens: 'A car in the wrong hands is a lethal weapon' - this is why we need Violet's Law

"When we came out we said this has got to stop. When we got to January, 2019 we said we need to do this now (Violet's Law).

"I'm in the middle of doing a degree, we both work full time, we are grieving parents and we are trying to bring up our son. But this has to stop because families are being torn apart by this crime and we are the ones with a life sentence.

"They will be out in 2020 and 2021, no time at all.

St Helens Star:

Aidan McAteer and Dean Brennan

"We don't want Violet's name to be in vain or for others to suffer.

"So, on Monday we want an official timeline and the go ahead for this to be in place as soon as possible, not 'when parliamentary time allows'.

"This is about people's lives and a car in the wrong hands becomes a lethal weapon."

Helen Jones MP, Warrington North MP, who is chairperson of the House of Commons Petitions Committee, added: “I don't think that anyone could listen to Mr and Mrs Youens without being really affected, they are extraordinarily brave people who have tried to make something positive out of this tragedy.

"They have said all along that their aim is to prevent the same thing happening to some other family.

"It takes really brave and determined people to do that and I hope that on Monday at the end of the debate, we get some commitment from the minister to act on this request.

"The government said it wants to do it and it will have widespread support across Parliament, there is no reason why they can't just get on with it."

Violet-Grace's Law will be debated in Parliament on Monday, July 8. Visit for updates

Please sign the petition calling for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers who kill, it is not closed yet and your signature does matter. To sign click here.