Killer drivers must pay the price - Doncaster mum backs new campaign

Michelle Stoton with her daughter, Danielle Stoton.

Michelle Stoton with her daughter, Danielle Stoton.

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Drivers who kill have been sentenced to an average of just four years in prison with dozens escaping jail altogether, an investigation has revealed.

No-one has been handed the maximum 14-year sentence for causing death by dangerous driving since Parliament lengthened the sentence from 10 years in 2004.

Figures show that between 2006 and 2015, 111 people convicted of causing death by dangerous driving walked free from court. Seventy-nine were given suspended sentences, with 14 given community service, 10 people dealt with through a fine and two given a conditional discharge.

The average sentence given in that time to those who were jailed is four years and one month.

Many other motorists who kill on the roads are prosecuted under the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving which bereaved families view as an insult. Today, the Star launches our Drive For Justice campaign to call for changes in the law to make sentencing fit the crime for those who kill or seriously injure people on our roads.

Around five people are killed on the roads each day and families who lose a loved one in such a s way describe their loss as feeling ‘like they have been murdered’.

However, the vast majority feel they do not get justice from the legal system.

The Drive For Justice campaign aims to give these families a voice and we are lobbying the Government to re-work guidelines so judges can use existing powers tas well as tackling loopholes and imposing tougher sentences for the worst offenders.

As recently as Friday, a man was sentenced to four years in jail for causing death by dangerous driving, after an incident in December 2014 between Stainforth and Barnby Dun, which claimed the life of Doncaster grandfather Gordon Poulton, a former warrant officer in the Dragoon Guards. The driver, Timothy Green, of Beighton, Sheffield, left a lorry trailer blocking an unlit country road, which Mr Poulton crashed into.

And our campaign has the backing of Michelle Stoton, whose 20-year-old daughter Danielle suffered devastating brain injuries when she was struck by a car Hatfield Lane, Armthorpe in August 2014.

The driver of the vehicle was jailed for eight months in May last year, after she admitted a string of charges including dangerous driving.

She said her daughter’s injuries mean she has been given a ‘life sentence’.

Michelle, of Harris Road, Armthorpe said: “Eight months – when you consider the fact that Danielle has been stripped of her independence, of the life she had, of the future she was going to have – is nothing.”