Fri, 03 Mar 2017
THE READING West MP has taken two mothers campaigning for tougher dangerous driving sentences to meet the prisons minister.
Alok Sharma, together with constituents Tracey Fidler and Hayley Lindsay, met with minister for prisons Sam Gyimah to discuss stronger sentences for dangerous driving and the recent Ministry of Justice consultation on driving offences.
Miss Fidler and Miss Lindsay’s fiancées, Kris Jarvis and John Morland, were killed while cycling in Purley, on February 13, 2014 – a collision which left seven children without a father.
Driver Alexander Walter, who was already disqualified, was speeding at 70mph in a 30mph zone, pursued by police, while two-and-a-half times over the alcohol limit.
He had also taken cocaine in the previous 24 hours.
He was found guilty of two counts of death by dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking and subsequently sentenced to 10 years and three months in prison.
This triggered the mothers’ campaign for tougher sentences of 14 years per person killed to run consecutively.
Hayley Lindsay said: “We want justice to be done. We can’t get it for ourselves now, but we want the loss of Kris and John to mean something and lead to a change in the law to help other families.”
Their e-petition calling for a change in the law received more than 102,000 signatures when it closed in March 2015 and Mr Gyimah noted around 9,000 responses to the Ministry of Justice consultation on the issue – the largest yet.
Mr Sharma, who has introduced the mothers to then Prime Minister David Cameron and led two parliamentary debates on the issue, said they were “two of the bravest people I know”.
“In my submission to the consultation, I have suggested that the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving, in the most aggravated cases such as Alexander Walter’s crime, should be life,” said Mr Sharma.