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Campaigning father has lost faith in process to toughen dangerous driving laws

The father of a student killed by dangerous driving has ‘no faith in the whole parliamentary process’ after the motorist who hit his daughter was released from prison.

Mark Hollands, of Cox Green, has spent the time since his daughter Bryony died four years ago campaigning for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers.

Bryony, a former Cox Green School pupil, was studying at the University of Sheffield and died after being hit by a car in Woodthorpe, Nottingham.

Thomas Burney was sentenced in 2015 to eight years in prison for causing her death by dangerous driving.

He was released on licence on Friday, having served half his term behind bars.

Mark said: “We just got an email out of the blue on Friday afternoon from the probation service.

“We were expecting to hear something this week because he was down for

release on the 26th (Monday) but, being a bank holiday, they let him out Friday, which apparently is par for the course.

“It was something we knew was going to happen so, in that kind of sense, we were prepared for it.

“Thankfully he is not local. We are not going to bump into him.”

Mark has lobbied the Government for tougher sentences for people convicted of serious motoring offences, alongside the Brake charity.

However, after the launch of a Ministry of Justice consultation into tougher prison terms for drivers who cause death by dangerous and careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs, no progress has been made in changing the law.

“I have little faith in the whole parliamentary process at the moment,” Mark said.

He has been ‘wanting to give up on the campaigning’ because of how difficult it has been to ‘get things moving’ with changing the law, he added.

In 2017, he criticised the then-Government for its slow progress on harsher sentences and accused them of ‘failing children’ who could become victims of dangerous drivers.

He said this week: “I’m disappointed that, when your own local MP (Theresa May) is the Prime Minister she can’t get things done, but I think that is more a reflection of the fact that the Government is so focused on tearing themselves apart on Brexit that they are not getting on with jobs they are being paid to do, to govern the country and dealing with some of the other issues.”

Mark remains hopeful that a chance in the law will help to put a stop to dangerous driving and will save lives.


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