Greater Manchester’s Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner has commended a Rochdale family’s fight for justice as it was announced drivers who kill could face life behind bars.
Ian and Dawn Brown-Lartey launched the Justice for Joseph campaign – calling for tougher punishments for reckless drivers – after their only son was killed by a dangerous driver in 2014.
Now, more than two years after his death, the government has finally listened, announcing proposals to increase sentences for dangerous drivers.
Tony Lloyd, who has supported the Justice for Joseph campaign, welcomed the news.
“Ian and Dawn’s courage and resolve in the face of such pain and grief has never faltered and I commend them for that. They have been determined to ensure no other families suffer the same pain and injustice they have. That ministers have finally listened is a victory for Ian and Dawn and their supporters – and will be a lasting legacy for Joseph.
“While this review is long overdue, we now have a real opportunity to change the law and make sure that reckless and dangerous drivers who kill face the same punishments as others who take a life.”
Under the plans, dangerous drivers causing death by speeding, street racing or while on a mobile phone could face the same sentences as those charged with manslaughter. Offenders who cause death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs could also be handed life sentences – an increase on the current 14 year upper limit.
Joseph died instantly when speeding driver Addil Haroon ran a red light at 80mph, splitting Joseph’s car in two. The collision was described by police officers who attended the scene as the worst they had ever seen on an urban street.
Haroon, was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving, dangerous driving, driving without a license and driving without insurance. He was sentenced to six years.
In November 2015, Key 103 and Joseph’s parents launched a petition for a review of sentencing guidelines and therefore harsher punishments for those who kill on the roads. Tony joined Ian, Dawn and Key 103’s Micelle Livesey as they delivered the 20,000-strong petition to Downing Street earlier this year.