‘Why wasn’t he already in jail?’

Lisa Garner
Lisa Garner
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THE MOTHER of tragic schoolgirl Payton Sparks says her killer should have been jailed ‘years ago’.

At Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday Lewis Young was imprisoned for eight years for causing the death of his 16-year-old girlfriend after downing a cocktail of drink and drugs and gettting behind the wheel of a stolen car.

The 19-year-old was seen to drag Payton into his father’s Vauxhall Tigra after sending her a text message demanding she leave a party and meet him.

She asked her 14-year-old friend Thomas Frost to go with her, which he is believed to have agreed to in a naive bid to protect her.

He was seriously injured in the crash, in Petersfield Road, Havant, on May 25 this year.

And at Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday it was revealed Young, from Leigh Park, had a long list of previous convictions with at least 10 serious driving offences.

Speaking after the sentencing, Lisa Garner, Payton’s 36-year-old mother, said: ‘I’m numb at the moment, I’m just trying to block everything out. It’s too much to take in.

‘Knowing our justice system I thought he might just get two years and I would leave court embarrassed for my daughter.

‘But even eight years, he will be out in four, and what sort of sentence is that?

‘It would not be enough if it was 100 years. At least he is going to have four hard long years.’

She added: ‘He would not even meet my gaze in court.

‘He has taken away my little girl.

‘She was only 15 and he was going on 19. He was a lot more clued up than her.

‘At the time he’d just been released from prison and was banned from going into Leigh Park. He should have been locked up a long time ago.’

Miss Garner said she felt sick when she heard prosecutor Simon Edwards reveal the contents of the last text message to Payton, from Young, which said: ‘meet me at Stone Square or I will come round and pull you out by your hair.’

Devastated Miss Garner said: ‘He picked her up from that party like she was his possession.

‘He threatened to smash the house up if she didn’t go with him, but she didn’t even want to see him any more.

‘They were only together seven weeks and she’d already worked him out.’

She added: ‘There is nothing else now but grief. I roll around in physical pain. I don’t want to live like this any more. We were so close. I will never be happy again. I wish I’d died with her.’

Ms Garner said she will not challenge the sentence and wants to be left alone to grieve.

‘Payton was my best friend, my baby,’ she cried.

‘I’m not saying she was an angel but she was a good girl, right from when she was a little baby.

‘She was adorable.’

Payton took the impact of the crash and died instantly.

The other passenger in the vehicle, 14-year-old Thomas Frost, was serioulsy injured.

He suffered a broken knee, finger and nose and was in hospital for some time.

He waited outside the courtroom while Young was being sentenced as he was too young to enter.

Young was in hospital for three weeks following the accident.

He was put into a coma by doctors.

He suffered broken ribs and damage to his shoulders.

After the judge announced the sentence, Miss Garner, unable to control her emotions, shouted at Young: ‘You murderer’, before he was led away by prison officers.

Paytons grandmother Jeanette Waterhouse, branded the sentenced handed to him, ‘disgusting’. She said , ‘Her poor mum, my daughter. We will never get over this.’