Families speak of relief after killer driver Samuel Etherington loses appeal

Samuel Etherington
Samuel Etherington
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FAMILIES of two teenage girls killed by a speeding driver have spoken of their relief that his appeal against his jail term was dismissed.

Killer Samuel Etherington, 21, accelerated towards best friends Jasmine Allsop, 14, and Olivia Lewry, 16, before crashing into them in Ann’s Hill Road, Gosport.

Etherington was yesterday appealing against the nine-year sentence he received after admitting two counts of death by dangerous driving.

But three Court of Appeal judges dismissed the appeal after a brief hearing.

Jasmine’s mother Rose, 38, of Gosport, said: ‘This isn’t the end for me.

‘I’m going to keep going and going until we get some chance of justice. I’ll keep going to the day I die.’

She wants thousands of people to sign a petition to increase the maximum sentence for the charge.

The News is backing her call and running a campaign to increase the sentence.

The court heard Etherington had first driven past the girls revving his engine in his heavily-modified Honda Civic.

He then turned back and drove toward the girls, who were in the middle of the road, Sir Richard Henriques told the appeal court.

He said: ‘As the car went past the girls the appellant revved the engine hard.

‘It appears the two girls ran out and shouted some abuse.

‘Two passers-by shouted he was going to kill someone the way he was driving.’

Sir Henriques added Etherington, from Stoners Close, Gosport, could have stopped in time when he drove back toward the girls – but instead accelerated, reaching 65mph at the point he hit the friends.

He said: ‘Had the appellant chosen to brake then, as he saw the two girls, the car would have stopped.’

Jasmine died instantly, while Olivia died holding her mother’s hand after being taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

Olivia’s uncle John, 60, was in court as the crash was described in agonising detail.

Mr Lewry said Etherington does not show remorse

He said: ‘There’s no remorse – it’s pure self pity.’

Paying tribute to Olivia, he added: ‘She was a wonderful person, she was a rogue but a nice rogue – full of mischief.’

Etherington’s barrister Oba Nsugbe QC had argued the starting point to work out the sentence handed down in February by Judge Guy Boney QC was too close to the 14-year maximum.

Sir Henriques said there was no fault with the judge or sentence. Etherington had been given a discount for his guilty plea.

MP will keep up the fight to increase maximum term

A TOP detective and an MP have welcomed senior judges’ decision to throw out Samuel Etherington’s sentence appeal.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said no sentence could ‘compare to the sentence he inflicted on both the girls and their family and friends.’

Ms Dinenage added she will again raise the issue of the maximum sentence for death by dangerous driving. She has raised it with prime minister David Cameron before.

Detective Superintendent Dick Pearson from Hampshire Major Investigation Team was the investigating officer in the case.

In a statement he said the force welcomes the sentence was upheld.

He said: ‘We’d like to thank the families of Jasmine and Olivia for their immense courage throughout this exceptionally traumatic case. Our thoughts remain with next-of-kin.’