Story by: ROB SETCHELL, Reporter
Thursday, January 10, 2013
THE family of Wisbech crash victim Jamie Butcher will meet with the Justice Secretary on Monday for what could be a massive breakthrough in their campaign for justice.
Jamie’s mother Tina and stepfather Steve Green will be joined by NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay for the discussion with Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling.
The meeting is a landmark moment in the Justice for Jamie campaign, which was launched in this newspaper in July last year.
Jamie, 22, was mown down and killed on a pedestrian crossing in Churchill Road in February 2011.
Driver Michael Moore, of Murrow Lane, Parson Drove, was doing almost twice the speed limit and had run a red light. He hit Jamie with such force that his body was found 44m from the crossing.
Moore was jailed for just 43 months in April after admitting causing death by dangerous driving.
Since that sentence, Jamie’s family have been joined by this newspaper and Mr Barclay in calling for tougher punishments for dangerous and killer drivers.
Almost 5,000 people have backed the campaign through online and paper petitions.
Mr Green said he was “absolutely delighted” that Mr Barclay had managed to secure a meeting with the Secretary of State for Justice.
“It’s a massive development in the campaign,” he said. “Mr Grayling is the man who has the ability to say yes to a review of the sentencing guidelines.
“We’re only in the second week of the year and already we have got a meeting secured - it’s great.
“We’re not giving up on this - far from it. We know we’re doing the right thing. We’re optimistic that the meeting will go well but even if it doesn’t, we will fight the battle in a different way.”
Figures released by the Ministry of Justice last year revealed that just one in 10 convicted killer drivers were jailed for more than five years. The maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, which was upped to 14 years in 2003, has never been imposed.
Mr Barclay said: “Following the campaign from this newspaper and the overwhelming response from constituents to support Steve and Tina, I wrote to the Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling.
“He is the key decision maker as to whether this issue is passed to the Sentencing Council, chaired by Lord Leveson.
“The decision on changing the guidelines is Lord Leveson’s but to get to him we need it to be officially referred by the Lord Chancellor. The purpose of Monday’s meeting is to get that referral.
“It’s my belief that the will of Parliament is not being reflected by the current sentencing guidelines. Parliament has said that this offence should be treated in a particular way but the guidelines are treating it in a different way.
“Steve and Tina will be there because their personal story is a powerful testimony of why this issue needs to be solved.
“Families up and down the country, as you can see on the comments section of the online petition, have lost their own loved ones or friends on the roads.”
• TO SIGN THE JUSTICE FOR JAMIE PETITION VISIT WWW.STOPDANGEROUSDRIVERS.COM