'We're serving a life sentence' - Mum of South Yorkshire teenager Josh Tyler hits out at jail sentence passed to son's killer

Josh Tyler
Josh Tyler

The heartbroken mum of a South Yorkshire teenager killed by a dangerous driver today branded his three year jail term ‘shocking’ and said: “We’re serving a life sentence.”

Josh Tyler, aged 16, of Swallownest, near Sheffield, died when he was knocked off his moped just a few minutes from his home.

Tobias Shelton was jailed for three years

Tobias Shelton was jailed for three years

Tobias Shelton, 20, was jailed for three years at Sheffield Crown Court after admitting causing death by dangerous driving. He will be eligible for release in 18 months.

Today Josh’s mum Julie Henley-Smith said: “The person who killed him will be back on the streets living his life again after 18 months and we’ll still be serving a life sentence without Josh.

“It’s shocking that my boy’s life was lost for such a short sentence.”

A ‘stupid decision’ by a ‘reckless’ young driver left a teenager dead and shattered his family’s lives forever, a devastated mum said today.

Josh with mum Julie, dad Ray and sister Jodie

Josh with mum Julie, dad Ray and sister Jodie

Josh Tyler, aged 16, was just minutes away from his his home in Swallownest, near Sheffield, when he was knocked off his moped and killed in April, 2015.

Tobias Shelton, 20, of Rose Garth, Aston, had pleaded not guilty to death by dangerous driving in November 2016 but later changed his plea and was jailed for three years at Sheffield Crown Court.

Now his heartbroken family have criticised his killer’s sentence saying it is ‘not long enough’.

Shelton is expected to serve just 18 months of the three year sentence for killing popular Josh Tyler, of Hepworth Drive, Swallownest.

Tributes to Josh at the family home in Swallownest

Tributes to Josh at the family home in Swallownest

“We know no length of sentence will bring Josh back but the one handed to him isn’t long enough. I know he didn’t go out to kill Josh that night but he took that decision, a stupid decision on a blind spot and it’s shattered our lives forever,” Josh’s mum Julie said.

“The consequences should be much tougher, he has shown no remorse for what he has done and when he’s out he’ll be able to get a job, start a family and put this behind him. Josh can’t do that.

“It doesn’t feel like justice."

Popular Josh, a pupil at Aston Academy and a lover of bikes, scooters and 4x4s, was looking forward to starting his apprenticeship in engineering and fabrication.

Tributes left to Josh on Mansfield Road, Swallownest

Tributes left to Josh on Mansfield Road, Swallownest

“Josh had his whole life ahead of him,” said Julie.

“He had such a bright future and that will never come. He had everything to live for.”

Sergeant Donna Roden, from South Yorkshire Police’s serious collisions unit, said: “This was a tragic case that sent shockwaves through the local community, where 16-year-old Josh Tyler was well known and highly thought of.

“He was a teenage boy with his whole life ahead of him and Tobias Shelton’s thoughtless and reckless behaviour cost Josh his life.

“Even though Tobias Shelton is now behind bars for his crime, this will be of little comfort to Josh’s family who will feel his loss for the rest of their lives. Our condolences and thoughts are with them during what must still be an incredibly difficult time.”

The Swallownest community was united in grief after Josh’s death. Hundreds lined the streets as his funeral cortege made it was through the village.

Dozens of 4x4s and motorbikes followed Josh’s coffin as it made its way to All Saints Aston-cum-Aughton church.

An extra room was opened in the church to accommodate the many mourners, who also packed into the foyer and entrance to the church.

Hundreds of pupils from Josh’s school, held a special vigil and released balloons into the sky.

Shelton was jailed for three years, banned from driving for four years and six months and will have to take an extended driving test after his ban finishes.