Family of killed motorcyclist back campaign for tougher sentences for death driversBy Becky Barnes
November 01, 2012
The family of a motorcyclist whose ‘lives were shattered’ when he was killed in a crash have backed a campaign for tougher sentences for killer drivers.
Father-of-three Steve Hazel, from Bracknell, was knocked off his bike in June 2010 by private hire cabbie Nicholas Donne.
This week Steve’s widow and father joined calls for the Government to abolish the more lenient offence of causing death by careless driving so anyone whose bad driving results in death will be jailed.
Backing the online petition stopdangerousdrivers.com launched on Tuesday, Steve’s widow Nicola said: “When my husband’s life was taken I feel mine was too – he was my everything and now my life has been ripped apart.
“But the pathetic sentence made my husband’s life feel worthless. The sentencing should be an awful lot harsher than it is.”
Donne was given a 36-week suspended sentence, £1,000 fine and 150 hours of community service when his attempts to blame Steve, 36, for the crash were disproved.
One in three of those convicted of causing death by dangerous or careless driving avoid prison.
Nicola, 37, from Wildridings, added: “The courts are not using the full potential of the jail sentence, so what is the point of having it?
“You have killed someone but you get more time in jail for burglary – it doesn’t weigh up.
“I know it was accidental, but any other accidental death the killer would not escape jail.”
Steve’s father John Hazel, 67, from Priestwood, said: “I am very bitter and I think the law needs changing – if you are proven to be negligent then why should you not pay the price?
“Steve lost his life – this guy has lost nothing. He should have gone away – we haven’t got our son for the rest of his life and until the day I die I have a life sentence.”
He added: “We are still
dealing with it and fighting for compensation.
“If a change in the law saved one family from what we have been through it would be worth it.”
Bracknell MP Dr Phillip Lee, who is backing the campaign, said: “Victims’ families often feel let down by the justice system when a dangerous driver who kills a loved one receives a lenient sentence.
“The maximum sentence of 14 years has never been used and only one in 10 of those convicted went to prison for more than five years.”
To sign the petition visit www.stopdangerousdrivers.com.