Families call for tougher sentencing for killer motorists

GRIEVING: Paul Andrews and his daughter Molly hold a picture of the late Ben Andrews

TRAGEDY: The late Jade Clark

First published in News by

TWO families left devastated by road tragedies have backed calls for tougher sentences to be given to drivers who kill.

New research says 82 per cent of the public believe there should be longer jail terms for drivers who cause death on the roads.

Ben Andrews was 19 when he was killed on the A354 near Blandford in May 2012.

The driver of the other car, soldier Benjamin James Southall, was sentenced to 32 months in prison for causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol.

He is expected to be freed from jail around the second anniversary of Ben Andrews’ death.

Ben’s dad Paul Andrews said: “I think the sentences should be longer.

“I don’t think there’s a deterrent to stop anyone.”

He said matters were made worse for bereaved families because killer drivers kept their licences until convicted. Driving bans begin when the offender has been sent to prison rather than after they are released.

“As an HGV driver, if I’m caught doing an offence, they can take my licence on the spot until it goes to court or a traffic commissioner. Why they can’t they do it for drink drivers or drivers on drugs?” said Mr Andrews.

Jade Clark of Ringwood was killed at the age of 16 as she rode her motor scooter on the A31 near the Ashley Heath roundabout in February 2013.

Brian Hampton, the driver of the car involved, was sentenced to a total of six years in jail for perverting the course of justice, causing death by careless driving, driving whilst disqualified and driving while uninsured. Jade’s nan, Linda Pidgley, said: “He wasn't supposed to be on the road.

“He had no insurance.

“He got four years for perverting the course of justice. He got more for that than he did for causing a death.”

She said the pain of Jade’s loss was always with the family.

“It’s never going to go away. They say time heals but I feel the same pain now as I did when it first happened,” she added.

A survey by road safety charity Brake and insurance company Direct Line also found that 81 per cent of drivers believed taking an illegal risk at the wheel should be considered ‘dangerous’, not ‘careless’, driving.

Eighty-five per cent said drivers who killed while drink or drug-driving should get five or more years in prison, while 66 per cent supported such sentences for those who caused a death through speeding.

Comments (1)

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1:26pm Sat 29 Mar 14

JackJohnson says...

Sentences for causing a death while driving are far too lenient and do not act as a deterrent for substandard or illegal driving.

I had a great aunt who was killed, on a clearly marked crossing, by a drunk, uninsured driver in an unroadworthy car. At trial we were not allowed to tell the court (and jury) that my aunt had died as a result of her injuries. Do I find the courts contemptable? You bet I do.
Sentences for causing a death while driving are far too lenient and do not act as a deterrent for substandard or illegal driving. I had a great aunt who was killed, on a clearly marked crossing, by a drunk, uninsured driver in an unroadworthy car. At trial we were not allowed to tell the court (and jury) that my aunt had died as a result of her injuries. Do I find the courts contemptable? You bet I do. JackJohnson
  • Score: 9

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