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Devastated families call for tougher sentences
6:00pm Tuesday 8th April 2014 in New Forest News
TWO families left devastated by road tragedies have backed calls for tougher sentences to be given to drivers who kill.
Research says 82 per cent of the public believe there should be longer jail terms for drivers who cause death.
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 six years in jail for perverting the course of justice, causing death by careless driving, driving while disqualified and driving while uninsured.
Jade’s grandmother 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 happened,” she added.
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 jailed for 32 months for causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol.
He is expected to be freed from jail at around the|second anniversary of Ben’s death.
Ben’s father Paul Andrews said: “I think the sentences should be longer. I don’t think there’s a deterrent to stop anyone.”
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.
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