Gosport MP - more needs to be done to ensure justice

The crash site in Gosport
The crash site in Gosport
Crystal Collins, left, and Sharon Newell with some of the children by the pond 

Picture: Malcolm Wells (171116-8678)

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MORE needs to be done to ensure reckless drivers who kill while behind the wheel get the jail time they deserve.

That’s the message from Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage after she stood up in Parliament to highlight how the issue needs to be addressed and resolved.

She referred to the deaths of Gosport girls Olivia Lewry, 16, and Jasmine Allsop, 14, who were killed by Sam Etherington, 20.

The first anniversary of their deaths was this week.

Etherington was jailed for nine years after killing the teenagers while driving more than double the speed limit on a cocktail of drugs.

It comes after The News launched its Get Tough on Danger Drivers campaign earlier this year calling for an increase in the maximum jail sentence for killer drivers following the girls’ deaths.

Ms Dinenage said: ‘The government knows more needs to be done and I agree with them. Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Justice, asked for a review of sentences and that is currently taking place.

‘It’s now in the hands of the government. The law needs to be more flexible. Horrific accidents do happen but then there are those like these with Olivia and Jasmine which are waiting to happen.

‘It seems crazy that these nine years amounts to four and a half years for Olivia and four and a half for Jasmine.’

The government has recently announced someone convicted of dangerous driving will now serve their driving ban after their release from prison – rather than during their time in jail.

A government e-petition has also been launched calling for drivers to get a maximum sentence of 14 years per person that has been killed.

It has collected around 25,000 signatures.

Ms Dinenage agreed separate sentences should be given for each victim killed.

The News’ campaign was also launched after 16-year-old Payton Sparks – known as Poppy – was killed when Lewis Young, 19, lost control and hit a telegraph pole, tree, and building after taking a cocktail of mephedrone and ketamine. He was sentenced to eight years in jail.

Both Etherington and Young will serve half their sentence behind bars and will serve the rest in the community on licence.