Following the death of their son the parents of Joseph Brown-Lartey have been campaigning for stiffer sentences for those who kill on the roads.
Joseph, 25, died instantly in November 2014 when a car sped through a red light at 80mph in a 30 zone in Rochdale, smashing into his car and splitting it in two. There was a public outcry when the driver, 19-year-old Addil Haroon, was given a six year sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, as well a number of other motoring offences. He’s likely to serve just three years.
In the aftermath Joseph’s mum and dad, Dawn and Ian, alongside Manchester Radio Station KEY103, launched the ‘Justice for Joseph’ Campaign, which is calling for the Government to review the sentencing guidelines and introduce stiffer sentences for road crimes.
It is being backed by Heywood and Middleton MP Liz McInnes, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland, The National Road Safety Charity BRAKE and the Manchester City Supporters Club.
On Monday 11th July, as part of the launch of BRAKE’s ‘Roads to Justice’ campaign, the wreckage of Joseph’s car will be put on public display for the very first time, and brought to the House of Commons, with support and help from Greater Manchester Police.
It comes as stats from a recent BRAKE survey show nine in 10 people in the North West want criminal drivers who kill charged with manslaughter.
Joseph’s parents, Ian and Dawn Brown-Lartey, said: “We will never get over the loss of our beautiful son Joseph, who had his whole life ahead of him. Hearing that his killer will serve half of a six-year sentence was a further slap in the face to us and our family. The law needs to change so that sentences for causing death by dangerous driving reflect the crime. We can’t bring Joseph back, but what we can do is campaign in his name to stop other families going through what we are. Joseph’s car was split in two. The emergency services said it was the worst road crash they had ever seen. We want people to see that devastation first hand in the hope of educating young drivers but also to hit home with the government the importance of our campaign.”
Liz McInnes said: “I’ve been honoured to get to know Joseph’s family in the last few months. No parents should have to suffer what they are going through. The very least that they deserve is the knowledge that their son’s killer is serving a sentence which fits the crime. I’m delighted that Brake are supporting the Justice for Joseph campaign and I hope that their Roads to Justice campaign and the event will not just send a very clear message that a change in the law is wanted and is necessary, but will also encourage drivers to think about their own driving habits and help to prevent future tragedies on our roads.’
Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “There are too many families, like the Brown-Lartey’s, who suffer the double trauma of losing a loved one in a sudden and violent way, and then witness the judicial system turning its back on them. That’s why we’re launching our Roads to Justice campaign, which calls on government to get tough on criminal drivers who kill or seriously injure others.”