Story by: ROB SETCHELL, Reporter
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
THE fight to get justice for Wisbech crash victim Jamie Butcher entered the Houses of Parliament yesterday as his family held a landmark meeting with the justice secretary.
Jamie’s mother Tina and stepfather Steve Green were joined by NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay for what they said was a “positive discussion” with Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling.
The Justice for Jamie campaign, launched in this newspaper in July last year, calls for tougher sentencing in death by dangerous driving cases.
It began after student Jamie, 22, was mown down and killed by speeding driver Michael Moore on a pedestrian crossing in Churchill Road, in February 2011.
Moore, of Murrow Lane, Parson Drove, was doing almost twice the speed limit and had run a red light - but he was jailed for just 43 months in April.
Following yesterday’s meeting, Mr Grayling has vowed to discuss the Justice for Jamie campaign with transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
This could result in the MPs making a joint approach to the Sentencing Council, chaired by Lord Leveson, calling for the guidelines to be reviewed in death by dangerous driving cases.
Mr Green said: “We put our story to the Lord Chancellor and he certainly understands. He is a father himself and he’s got a son and a daughter of similar age to our family. I think he’s on board.
“By coincidence, Mr Grayling was scheduled to have dinner with the transport secretary last night so he promised to talk to him. Depending on that meeting, we hope that they will recommend a review of the guidelines by the sentencing council.
“That’s what we’re after - it’s what the campaign is all about. If we were to achieve that I would be absolutely delighted.”
Almost 5,000 people have signed online and paper petitions, while the campaign has also won cross-party support from MPs and been backed by road safety charity Brake.
“We’re getting so many stories from people in similar situations who have suffered,” said Mr Green.
“I spoke to a family last week who lost their son in September. We know what they have got in front of them over the next few months - the court appearances and the heartbreak.
“Unless things change, they will also come out of court in a year’s time with a ridiculous sentence.”
Jamie’s family also praised the campaigning work of Mr Barclay, who secured yesterday’s meeting.
“We’re chuffed to bits with what Steve has done,” said Mr Green.
“We’re just a couple of ordinary people and on our own we would never have got this far. He has really backed us and I’m sure he will stick with us until we get a resolution.”
Mr Barclay said: “The meeting with the justice secretary was a real success. He recognised the importance of both Jamie’s tragic case and the wider policy issue.
“Getting Steve and Tina to explain their own story first-hand really brought it home to him what impact killer drivers have on the families left behind.
“I am positive that the campaign is starting to have an effect at the top of Government, but we can’t be complacent and I would urge people to sign the petition.”
• TO SIGN THE PETITION VISIT WWW.STOPDANGEROUSDRIVERS.COM