A fight for justice which began with the hit-and-run death of a hugely popular young man from Leeds has now been taken straight to the Prime Minister.
James Gilbey, from Bramley, was 25 when he was killed in July 2015 by two men racing at speeds of up to 79mph along Stanningley by-pass.
Despite fleeing the scene, going into hiding for several days and burning their clothes to avoid getting caught, his killers will likely spend just four years in prison.
Now James’ father, who has fought for a change in the law to bring in tougher sentences for those causing death by dangerous driving, has presented a petition to Downing Street with the backing of more than 15,000 people.
“My son was enjoying life – he had the right to enjoy life,” said Major Richard Gilbey. “That was taken from him by the callous actions of those two men.
“They’ve taken my son’s life, and they’ve destroyed our family’s life. Yet it’s a mere inconvenience for them. They will walk away.
“That is an injustice.”
Sweeping changes were proposed by the Government last month to bring in tougher penalties – including up to life in jail – for those causing death by dangerous driving.
This comes after an investigation by the YEP revealed that not a single person has been handed the maximum sentence of up to 14 years.
Major Gilbey, who says the Government move is a step in the right direction, says strict guidelines also need to be brought in to ensure that maximum sentence is actually used.
“What we need to do is to change the sentencing guidelines,” he said. “For the worst cases, life sentences should be imposed and there should be clear guidelines to make that possible.”
Majid Malik, of Silverhill Avenue in Bradford, and Kaiz Mahmood of Hinchliff Street, Bradford, both 28, were sentenced to eight years in jail for James’ death and will serve four.
“They killed James, they left him dead in the street, they fled and burned their clothes,” said Major Gilbey. “For all of that, they will serve four years in prison.
“It trivialises those who lost their lives. Yet people are taking lives through reckless behaviour and walking free after no more than two or three years. That’s why I need to fight on.”