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Six years for him, but a life sentence for me: Jade's mother speaks out
11:04am Saturday 21st September 2013 in News
Sharon Clark speaks to media outside of Bournemouth Crown Court over the sentencing of driver Brian Hampton
THE mother of a Ringwood teenager who died following a hit and run on the A31 has said hers will be a “life sentence”.
Sharon Clark spoke out after health and safety executive Brian Hampton, 58, was jailed for six years after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice after hitting her daughter Jade, 16 in his Volvo on February 24.
Hampton had admitted driving while banned and with no insurance, and to causing death by careless driving previously, having accepted he hit Jade near the Fish Inn that Sunday night.
But he had denied knowing he had hit her, and then covering up his involvement by getting his car repaired.
The jury found that he had knocked Jade from her moped then driven around her and away, leaving her to be killed instantly by the next vehicle.
Her mother Sharon said: “As a family, we are delighted with the verdict.
“On that terrible day back in February, our beautiful Jade was riding her scooter on a route she had done many times before, when she had the misfortune of being on the same stretch of road as Brian Hampton, who had been driving for months as a disqualified driver.
“We now know that Brian Hampton’s car did not kill Jade. What we do know is that he did knock her off her scooter and he left her on the road, at the mercy of other traffic.
“He could have stopped and tried to protect her; he could have gone to her aid and possibly saved her but he selfishly chose to protect himself and drove around her. We can never forgive him for that.
“It’s clear that he has then done everything possible to cover-up what he did. He lied to his work, lied to mechanics and even lied to his wife. Today, the jury have seen through his lies and found him guilty.
“Brian Hampton has never apologised for what he has done and never shown any remorse.
“No sentence will ever bring Jade back. One day, he will be able to continue with his life. Ours will be a life-sentence – spending the rest of our lives without Jade.”
She added: “Jade was a wonderful daughter and a loving sister to Corrina, William, Rachal, Danni and Tommy.
“She was studying at college to become a hairdresser and was a very active member of the Young Firefighters Association in Ringwood, where she really enjoyed spending her time.
“Jade was a lovely young lady with a large group of friends – words cannot describe how much we all miss her.
“I know that nothing will bring Jade back or reduce our suffering but we have been warmed by the overwhelming support that we have received from the public – people who didn’t even know Jade.
“The whole family is also extremely grateful to the media for their help with the investigation and the support from the people and businesses in Ringwood.”
The search for the driver responsible for Jade’s death sparked the largest-scale inquiry ever carried out by Dorset Police’s traffic unit.
A team of traffic officers, detectives from the force’s Major Crime Investigation Team and officers from around the country spent weeks searching for the driver.
During their investigation, police examined more than 1,500 Volvo XC90s and interviewed countless witnesses.
Police used CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras to spot Brian Hampton’s car travelling from Kent to Poole on the day of the accident – February 24 – with the grille trim intact.
They noticed him making the return journey the following day with a missing grille trim.
Hampton, of Ashford, Kent, was jailed for four years for perverting the course of justice and two for causing death by careless driving, driving while disqualified and with no insurance.
DI Marcus Hester, of MCIT, said: “That morning when we thought we had found the vehicle there was a great lift in the team.”
He added: “It was a pretty callous crime because we are now aware that if Hampton had stopped at the time, it’s unlikely that Jade Clark would have died. She was left exposed on an unlit road and it was, sadly, the following car that caused her fatal injuries.
“The reaction from the public was exceptional.”
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