Grieving mum launches action against driver

Rose Allsop
Rose Allsop
Cheltenham Road. Picture: Google Maps

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THE justice system has failed me – that’s the message from Rose Allsop as she launches a civil claim against the driver who killed her teenage daughter.

Ms Allsop, 38, of Gosport, is angry as killer driver Samuel Etherington, 21, was given just nine years in prison after crashing into her daughter and friend.

Jasmine Allsop, 14, and her best friend Olivia Lewry, 16, were both killed when they were hit by Etherington who was driving at 65mph in a 30mph zone.

Ms Allsop’s lawyer Matthew Claxson, from Slater & Gordon, said: ‘Rose feels let down by the justice system and is seeking justice through the civil process.

‘Unfortunately, in many cases of deaths on the road involving motor vehicles, victims and their relatives feel hard done by when the sentences are handed down.

‘Launching a civil action is one of the avenues available to victims to achieve some closure.’

Ms Allsop is seeking support for the psychological trauma she suffered after kissing her daughter goodbye as she lay dead in the road.

Etherington has been granted leave to appeal the jail term he received at Winchester Crown Court earlier this year after admitting two counts of death by dangerous driving.

Speaking to The News, Ms Allsop said: ‘It’s absolutely despicable – it’s the only way to describe how I feel. It’s terrible. I feel so angry.’

The appeal will be heard today.

Etherington appealed and senior judges will decide if his jail term should be shortened.

A separate application to review the sentence as ‘unduly lenient’ was sent to the Attorney General’s office. A spokeswoman said it was decided this should not be sent on to the appeal court.

Death by dangerous has a maximum sentence of 14 years.

Etherington received nine years as he pleaded guilty early but the crown court judge said his crimes needed to be marked with a severe sentence.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has asked for an increase in the maximum sentence – as has The News in a campaign launched after the friends were killed.

Ms Dinenage said: ‘I can understand (Ms Allsop) in her position to feel (anger), given the leniency of this sentence.

‘It’s absolutely bewildering that having done that he’d ask to have his sentence shortened.’

As reported, Etherington had taken illegal drugs before he sped along Ann’s Hill Road in Gosport at 4.15am on November 3.