Families failed by driving penalties, Leeds MP tells HoC

Greg Mulholland.
Greg Mulholland.
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VICTIMS killed by dangerous drivers and their families are being badly let down by the justice system, an MP has told the House of Commons.

Liberal Democrat MP, Greg Mulholland, is fighting for new laws to be passed which strengthen penalties and he hopes to see new guidelines in place by 2017.

Presenting a Ten Minute Rule Bill, which is one of the ways MPs can suggest changes to law, the Leeds North West MP said: “We need a number of changes to make sure proper justice is delivered in the future.”

His campaign follows the death of three of his constituents between 2010 and 2012, and their families have been campaigning for tougher sentences for several years.

He said: “I had two awful cases. The case of 16-year-old Jamie Still, killed by a reckless criminal driver on New Year’s Eve in 2010, and then David and Dorothy Metcalf from Cookridge killed in January 2012, and I dedicate this bill to the memories of Jamie, David and Dorothy, and all who have lost their lives from these serious crimes.”

He said reforms should be in four areas.

Penalties related to serious criminal driving offences that lead to serious injury or death should be strengthened, offences redefined and bail conditions mended, with enhanced standards of investigation by police and the courts and improved treatment for victims and their families.

He said: “Careless is an inappropriate and actually offensive term to use for criminally bad driving particularly where it has resulted in horrendous suffering and even driving that falls slightly below the standards –actually, it may be careless but it is still dangerous.” He suggests both offences are scrapped and new charges drawn up instead. The Bill will be heard again in the Commons on March 11.

Daniel Brown.

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