‘It’s only a matter of time before someone else dies’ - stepfather

SAD Tributes left to Payton Sparks
SAD Tributes left to Payton Sparks
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IT IS going to happen again and the victim’s family won’t get justice.

That is what Joe Spencer firmly believes after his 16-year-old step-daughter Payton Sparks was killed by a 19-year-old driver.

Payton Sparks

Payton Sparks

As reported on Monday, Joe, 35, of Leigh Park, in Havant, is backing the News campaign to get tough on killers charged with death by dangerous driving.

Joe and Poppy’s mum Lisa Garner have told The News their lives have been devastated and they fear families of future victims will not get justice.

Joe said: ‘The loss of a child has an impact on your whole life. I’ve had to give up work. We struggle to eat some days. When we go out, people don’t know what to say.’

He added: ‘It’s only a matter of time before someone else is killed.

‘It’s not fair to have your whole life ripped away from you.’

Lisa said she has turned to online grief forums to try and cope.

She added: ‘I was so numb, even at the funeral. It wasn’t my life.’

As reported, Lewis Young, 19, of no fixed abode, drove his father’s Vauxhall Tigra at speeds of 80mph before crashing on Petersfield Road, in Havant, on May 25.

He killed Payton, known as Poppy, and her friend Thomas Frost, 14, was seriously injured.

Young was handed eight years in prison. Our campaign calls for the maximum sentence for killers convicted of death by dangerous driving to increase from 14 years.

A change would need a politician to first raise the issue and then for it to be referred to the Law Commission by attorney general Dominic Grieve. It would then go to parliament for debate.

And after The News launched the campaign on Monday, a driving training firm has come on board backing our call.

Matthew Best, co-founder of The Driving Project, in Cowplain, works with schools in the area.

It teaches youngsters under 17 about driving safely.

He said he backs our campaign as increasing the sentence would help to educate youngsters.

He said: ‘I would include that as part of education.

‘We need to ask, is it really worth messing about because this is the punishment you are going to get?’

He has worked with pupils at Brune Park School in Gosport, where 14-year-old Jasmine Allsop studied before she was killed in a crash on November 3.

Her mother Rose is backing our campaign after Samuel Etherington was given nine years for killing Jasmine and her 16-year-old friend Olivia Lewry on Ann’s Hill Road.

As reported, Etherington, 20, of Stoners Close, Gosport, hit the pair at a speed of around 65mph.