Heartbroken mum tells of her grief one year on from tragic deaths

Rose Allsopp
Rose Allsopp
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GRIEVING mum Rose Allsop has told of her heartache on the anniversary of her daughter’s tragic death.

Jasmine Allsop, 14, was killed along with best friend Olivia Lewry, 16, when Samuel Etherington hit them in his souped-up Honda Civic in Ann’s Hill Road, Gosport, just yards from the teenager’s home.

He was driving at 65mph – more than twice the 30mph speed limit – and had earlier taken illegal drugs.

Mrs Allsop, 38, said: ‘It’s with me every day. It’s so painful.

‘You never forget. You think it’s going to get better but that doesn’t ever happen.’

Mrs Allsop said she takes some comfort by seeing Jasmine’s friends growing up and getting on with their lives, as well as seeing her daughter, five-year-old Charlie doing the things that Jasmine loved to do.

She said: ‘They were more than sisters, they were like best friends.

‘I have to make the most of what I have got left.

‘[Charlie] has her sad days. They were best friends and did everything together.’

Mrs Allsop said her son Reece, 17, has been channelling his energy into music, and she is proud of him for performing at music festivals.

She said: ‘Reece has been so strong. He has had a lot of growing up to do in the past year.’

The family are still angry about the length of Etherington’s sentence.

The 21-year-old, from Stoners Close, Gosport, denied two counts of manslaughter but pleaded guilty to two counts of death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to nine years in jail.

Mrs Allsop said the sentence was not long enough.

‘There is still a lot of anger in the family and in the community,’ she said.

‘Knowing that he has nearly served a year and that he has only got another three-and-a-half years left.

‘He should have got longer. It is disgusting,’

As today marks one year since the teenagers’ tragic deaths, Mrs Allsop will be comforted by her friends and family.

She said: ‘We are getting together as a family and friends are coming down to pay their respects and to remember our Jasmine.

‘There is not one day that goes by that we do not speak about her.

‘It is like she is still here with us.’

Etherington was driving on the wrong side of the road at about 4.15am when he hit the pals who had been standing in the road with their arms round each other.

Jasmine was flung to the junction of Clifton Street, Gosport, and died instantly of multiple injuries.

Olivia, 16, was knocked unconscious.

She was taken to hospital where she later died of head injuries.

Unemployed sports coach Etherington was unhurt.

Mrs Allsop, who had come out of her house nearby, cradled Jasmine as she lay dead on the floor – moments she said will stay with her forever.

She has since moved house as the memory was so harrowing.

She said: ‘It was devastating.

‘It was too painful to go out.

‘I could not leave my house to go out or cross that road. It was so painful.’

Killer was a ‘menace behind the wheel’

DRIVER Samuel Etherington killed Olivia Lewry, 16, and Jasmine Allsop, 14, when he hit them in his souped-up Honda Civic.

He had been pulled over by police for a broken tail light just over an hour before the crash but was allowed to continue.

Etherington, pictured right, hit the girls in Ann’s Hill Road in Gosport at 4.15am while travelling at 65mph – twice the 30mph speed limit.

He claimed he was playing ‘chicken’ with the girls as he drove down the road and when the girls shouted at him as he drove past.

He turned round and came back towards them, when he hit them.

Tests showed he had taken horse tranquilliser ketamine and mephedrone in the 24 hours before the crash.

Jasmine was killed instantly but Olivia was knocked unconscious and taken to hospital in Cosham where she later died.

The crash happened just yards away from Jasmine’s home.

Etherington, of Stoners Close, Gosport, fled the scene but later called the police and was arrested.

He was jailed for nine years at Winchester Crown Court in February after he admitted two counts of death by dangerous driving. The court heard Etherington, 21, already had two motoring convictions and had previously received a driving ban.

He had been driving again for nine months when the crash happened on November 3 last year. Judge Guy Boney QC branded him ‘a menace behind the steering wheel of a car.’

Etherington lost an appeal against his sentence at the Court of Appeal in July.

In March The News launched its Get Tough on Danger Drivers campaign calling for harsher penalties for reckless drivers with the aim of getting the maximum sentence for such offences.

Raft of events in memory of tragic teenagers

March

The News launches its Get Tough on Danger Drivers campaign after the deaths of three teenage girls in the area, Olivia Lewry, 16 Jasmine Allsop, 14 and Payton ‘Poppy’ Sparks, 16.

The campaign gains huge support from an outraged community

April

About 50 people take part in a six-mile walk around Gosport to raise funds for a memorial bench for Olivia and Jasmine.

They wear pink Adidas T-shirts as it was Jasmine’s favourite colour and Olivia’s favourite brand.

May

With support from the charity Motiv8, a song is released with the proceeds going towards raising money for the memorial bench for the two girls.

June

Tyler Palmer, 16, a friend of the two girls, wins a Youth Award from the mayor of Gosport for organising fundraising events and a vigil in the memory of his two friends.

July

Friends and family mark Jasmine’s birthday by having a tea party at her graveside.

August

The memorial bench unveiled at Forton Park, Gosport in memory of the two friends after £1,400 is raised with help from Gosport Borough Council.

The park was a place the two girls enjoyed spending time with their friends.

August

As part of a festival to remember loved ones, balloons are released by friends and family at Forton Park, Gosport.