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Family of student killed by drink-driver calls for tougher sentences on national television

The family of a student killed by a drink and drug driver appeared on national television last week.

Bryony Holland’s family appeared on ITV’s Judge Rinder’s Crime Stories on Friday to discuss her death and the sentencing of her killer, Thomas Burney.

They hope that, by appearing on national television, it will help further their campaign to increase the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving.

Student Bryony, a former pupil of Cox Green School, was fatally injured in the incident in Nottingham in 2015, when she was 19.

Burney was jailed for eight years, reduced from 12 for a guilty plea but he could be released after as little as four years if he is granted parole.

Bryony’s father Mark has called on the public to make a difference by pushing for the sentence to be increased.

He said: “It’s simple: write to your MP’s. If we get just a few people in a number of constituencies writing to their MPs and all the MPs write to the Ministry of Justice, it could have a significant effect.

“I think some of these people don’t care, and will [drink and drive] anyway but if it happens to a few people then they might start to sit up and take notice.”

Currently, the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving is 14 years, a term which is reduced by one third if the offender pleads guilty.

Mark and his family have campaigned to have the maximum sentence increased from 14 years to life.

In October, the Ministry of Justice confirmed it would increase the maximum sentence to life after a consultation, but the changes are yet to be implemented.

Mark said he hoped that, by appearing on national television, it would speed up the process and bring justice to other families.

He said: “It was quite stressful going through all that and putting your heart on the line and not knowing what will happen.

“We hope it can bring more attention to it.”

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