Killer drivers to receive life sentences

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Government consultation in December 2016 discovered support for the law change

Motorists who kill someone in the many serious cases of dangerous plus careless driving will now face lifestyle sentences.

Causing passing away by dangerous driving, or dying by careless driving while intoxicated or on drugs, will take the top-level punishment.

Prison terms in cases involving mobile phones, boosting or street racing will now become the equivalent of manslaughter, the Ministry of Justice said.

Road safety charity Braking mechanism said it was a “major victory” for victims’ families.

It follows criticism that content for those convicted over road fatalities were too lenient.

The increase will apply to accidents in England, Scotland and Wales, however, not Northern Ireland, which has separate street safety laws.

Lawyer Matthew Scott told BBC Radio stations 5 live the change may not increase road safety.

Announcing the modify, justice minister Dominic Raab stated: “Based on the seriousness of the most severe cases, the anguish of the victims’ families, and maximum penalties regarding other serious offences such as manslaughter, we intend to introduce life phrases of imprisonment for those who wreck life by driving dangerously, drunk or even high on drugs. ”

A new offence of causing severe injury through careless driving can also be to be created.


‘This is some thing serious’

A woman whom lost her partner to a car owner distracted by his mobile phone thinks a life sentence may be the prevention needed to make drivers take a lot more care.

Meg Williamson’s Australian boyfriend Gavin Roberts, twenty-eight, died after his BMW had been hit by a Vauxhall Corsa powered by Lewis Stratford on the A34 in Oxfordshire in June 2016.

Stratford, who was racing and having an argument with his sweetheart over the phone, admitted death simply by dangerous driving and was jailed for three years and eight a few months in March.

Picture copyright Meg Williamson
Image caption Gavin Roberts with Meg Williamson in the last photograph taken of the couple together, in the night before he died

Ms Williamson informed BBC Radio 5 live that when a harsher sentence had been in position at the time “it might have prevented Lewis from doing what he did”.

She said: “It’s about re-educating people now. I believe it might just take that one person to find the life imprisonment if some death occurs then people will start to understand this is something serious. ”

Ms Williamson met Stratford, who was also badly hurt within the crash, before he was sentenced at Reading Crown Court.

She said the particular meeting had been difficult but acquired helped them both move in the direction of “closure”.

She mentioned: “In time I think I will reduce him. It’s something everybody must live with.

“He at this point has to live with the guilt associated with what he has done and we are dealing with the fact that somebody is lacking from our life on a daily basis. ”


The modifications follow a public consultation in December 2016 which generated 9, 000 responses.

Of them, 70% backed increasing the maximum sentence for death by dangerous driving from the current 14 yrs to a life term.

Death by careless generating carries a maximum term of 5 years, increasing to 14 yrs if alcohol or drugs are participating.

Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Atif Dayaji was jailed for four years for passing away by dangerous driving, after eliminating a nine-year-old boy

Last week a man exactly who killed a nine-year-old boy whilst driving at more than double the velocity limit was jailed for 4 years.

Atif Dayaji, 27, had admitted death simply by dangerous driving after hitting Adam Imfal-Limbada while travelling at about 67mph (108kph) in a 30mph (48kph) area in Blackburn, Lancashire, in Aug 2016.

Department pertaining to Transport figures show that while 3 in five killer drivers are usually jailed, the average sentence is 4 years.

In 2016, 157 people were sentenced for leading to death by dangerous driving plus 32 were convicted of leading to death by careless driving while under the influence, the MoJ mentioned.

‘Grossly inadequate’

Brake offers argued that penalties faced simply by drivers who kill and harm are “grossly inadequate” and result in added anguish to their families.

Jason Wakeford, Brake’s movie director of campaigns, said: “We applaud the government for at last recognising how the statute books have been weighed towards thousands of families who have had their particular lives torn apart through the activities of drivers who have flagrantly damaged the law. ”

Mister Scott argued that the announcement was obviously a “crowd-pleasing gesture” and that life phrases “should be reserved for the the majority of serious offences”.

He or she told BBC Radio 5 reside: “Bad though it is and incorrect though it is, taking out a cell phone while driving without any intention in order to cause death, I don’t think about that is the sort of behaviour that could perhaps justify a life sentence. inch

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