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Council calls on Government to introduce tougher sentences for killer drivers

The Royal Borough is to call on the Government to bring forward the introduction of life sentences for killer drivers.

Ministers announced last October that drivers who cause death by speeding, racing or using a mobile phone could face sentences equivalent to manslaughter, with maximum penalties raised from 14 years to life.

Offenders who cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs will also face life sentences.

But legislation is yet to be brought forward, and the Royal Borough is now urging the Government to act.

Cllr Ross McWilliams (Con, Cox Green) told a meeting yesterday that the council had to put pressure on the Government in memory of former Cox Green School student Bryony Hollands, 19, who was killed by a drink-driver near Nottingham in August 2015.

He said: “No parent should have to bury their child.

“The very thought of it makes the hairs stand up on your skin and the ripples caused by this single act of stupidity are felt far and wide.”

Bryony’s killer, Thomas Burney, of no fixed address, was jailed for eight years in October 2015 after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

Following a meeting with Bryony’s parents Mark and Alison, who attended yesterday’s full council, Cllr McWilliams added he was horrified to learn that Bryony’s killer could be eligible for release after serving half of his sentence.

He said: “For me this just doesn’t feel right, it feels so wrong.

“You spend more time in prison for fraud than you do for killing a human being.

“How can anyone feel this stupid individual has been properly punished for his crime?”

Councillors unanimously agreed a motion for council leader Cllr Simon Dudley to write to David Gauke, the Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, urging him to bring forward legislation to introduce life sentences for killer drivers.

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