Dangerous Driving Offences (Sentencing)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:49 pm on 4th November 2014.

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Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma Conservative, Reading West 4:49 pm, 4th November 2014

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Caton, in this incredibly important debate on sentencing for dangerous driving. The fact that so many hon. Friends and colleagues have turned up for the debate demonstrates the strength of feeling across the House on the issue. I want to highlight the case of my constituents, John Morland and Kris Jarvis, who were killed by a dangerous driver. I also want to press for a change in the law to toughen sentences for dangerous driving.

The case of John and Kris is incredibly tragic. They were cycling in my constituency on 13 February and were hit from behind by a car driven by a man called Alexander Walter. He had stolen the car, was disqualified from driving, and was two and a half times over the alcohol limit. In the 24 hours before the accident, he had taken cocaine, and it emerged afterwards that he had already made 14 court appearances and had 67 convictions, one of which related to him phoning Heathrow airport to make a bomb hoax only days after the 9/11 tragedy. Walter walked away from the wreckage without a scratch. John and Kris did not; they died at the scene due to their appalling injuries.

John and Kris were family men, and as a result of the accident seven children lost their father; parents lost their sons; brothers and sisters lost their siblings; and the fiancées of John and Kris, who are present and are listening to the debate, Hayley Lindsay and Tracey Fidler, lost the love of their life. I was particularly touched by a point that Tracey made in the local paper: since the age of 17, they had never spent a day apart. I pay tribute to the courage, bravery and strength of character of Tracey and Hayley. They have spent months trying to rebuild their shattered lives and dreams. They are very grateful to their friends and families, who have helped them, but the reality is that those families started a life sentence on 13 February.