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Liz McInnes and more than 70 other MPs have written to the Justice Secretary to demand tougher sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving.

In October last year the government announced it intended to introduce tougher sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving, but 8 months later no legislation has yet been brought forward.

Liz McInnes MP has long supported the Justice for Joseph campaign set up in memory of her constituent Joseph Brown-Lartey who was killed in Rochdale in 2014 by a driver speeding at 80mph in a 30mph zone. His killer was sentenced to just 6 years in prison. Alongside Joseph’s family, the road safety charity Brake, MPs from all parties, and many other families affected by tragedies such as this, Liz has been campaigning for tougher sentences to be introduced which better reflect the severity and impact of the crime.

Liz McInnes MP says: “The government consultation into this ended in February 2017. It then took them until October 2017 to announce their conclusions. All those who have campaigned for tougher sentences were incredibly relieved to hear last October that the government intended to toughen the sentences however we are disappointed that 8 months later we are still waiting for changes to be introduced.

Since October I and many others have contacted Ministers to ask for updates, only to be told each time that the legislation will be introduced ‘when parliamentary time allows’. This simply isn’t good enough. As we wait, more and more families are being forced to suffer not only a lifetime of grief at the loss of their loved ones, but the double injustice of seeing their killers receive prison sentences of only a few years. The tragic killing of Corey and Casper Platt-May in February this year underlines this fact. If the law had been changed more quickly, their killer would be serving a sentence which better reflects their horrendous crime.

We call on the Justice Secretary and the government to introduce legislation now so that no more families need to suffer this injustice.”

The full text of the letter is as follows:

Dear David,

In April, the killer of 6 and 2 year old Corey and Casper Platt-May was sentenced to just 9 years in prison. Corey and Casper were on their way to the park with their family when they were killed by Robert Brown, who had 30 previous convictions for driving without a license or insurance. Both Mr Brown and his passenger Gwendoline Harrison were high on cocaine when their car hit the two small children.

Mr Brown and Ms Harrison tried to escape the scene after the crash, and even fought with members of the public – and then the police – who tried to stop them from fleeing.

Most people would surely agree that such a horrendous crime deserves a tougher sentence than just 9 years in prison. With parole, Mr Brown could be out even sooner.

Sadly, Corey and Casper’s family are not the only ones to suffer the added injustice of seeing their loved one’s killer be given a derisory sentence.

We and many other MPs are all too familiar with cases similar to that of Corey and Casper, and we have lobbied the government for a number of years for tougher sentences to be introduced. We’ve been supported in this by the road safety charity Brake and other organisations. Finally, in late 2016 the pressure told when the government announced it would hold a public consultation on the issue.

That consultation ended in February 2017. This was followed by months of government silence on the issue, until at last in October the government announced they would introduce the possibility of life imprisonment for the crime.

That was 8 months ago, and we are still waiting.

While the government prevaricates, families continue to suffer not only a lifetime of grief at the loss of their loved ones but the double injustice of seeing their killers receive prison sentences of only a few years.

If the law had been changed last Autumn as a matter of urgency, Corey and Casper’s killer might be serving a sentence which better reflects the fact he took the lives of two small children.

How much longer will the families who have campaigned for tougher sentences have to wait, and how many more will suffer the same injustice before changes are finally made?

We would be most grateful for a response at the earliest opportunity.

Yours sincerely,    

Liz McInnes MP

Paula Sherriff MP

Sandy Martin MP

Tony Lloyd MP

Toby Perkins MP

Tulip Siddiq MP

Conor McGinn MP

Mike Kane MP

Ellie Reeves MP

Faisal Rashid MP

Siobhain McDonagh MP

Thelma Walker MP

Kevan Jones MP

Graham Stringer MP

Kelvin Hopkins MP

Marsha De Cordova MP

Emma Hardy MP

Rachael Maskell MP

John Grogan MP

Nick Smith MP

Madeleine Moon MP

Anneliese Dodds MP

John Spellar MP

Nic Dakin MP

Vernon Coaker MP

Peter Dowd MP

Ann Clwyd MP

Ruth Smeeth MP

Hugh Gaffney MP

Teresa Pearce MP

Preet Gill MP

Jack Dromey MP

Gill Furniss MP

Ruth George MP

Alex Sobel MP

George Howarth MP

Helen Goodman MP

Diana Johnson MP

Judith Cummins MP

Colleen Fletcher MP

Peter Kyle MP

Marie Rimmer MP

Caroline Lucas MP

Stephen Timms MP

Gordon Marsden MP

Keith Vaz MP

Jess Phillips MP

Rosie Cooper MP

Sarah Champion MP

Jenny Chapman MP

Emma Dent Coad MP

Ben Lake MP

Anna Turley MP

Ian Lucas MP

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP

Tracy Brabin MP

John McDonnell MP

Dan Jarvis MP

Kate Hollern MP

Ian Mearns MP

Naz Shah MP

David Drew MP

Graham Jones MP

Liz Twist MP

Ben Bradshaw MP

Ian Austin MP

Alex Cunningham MP

Susan Elan Jones MP

Jim Fitzpatrick MP

Jared O’Mara MP

Sharon Hodgson MP

Jess Morden MP

Nick Smith MP

Roger Godsiff MP

Wayne David MP

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