THIS week, a 15-year-old boy was sentenced to four years in youth detention for crashing a stolen car into a tree, causing the deaths of five people.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, drove the Renault Clio at high speed, lost control and smashed into the tree in Leeds last November.
The car was virtually cut in half, and its passengers were thrown out into the street.
Locals rushed to help and managed to free the driver, who then ran away and later changed his story several times.
Brothers Ellis and Elliott Thornton-Kimmitt, aged 12 and 14, Darnell Harte, 15, Robbie Meerun, 24, and father-of-two Anthony Armour, also 24, all died.
The victims’ relatives were furious following the sentence, knowing the teenager will be back on the streets in two years.
Drivers who kill and maim often seem to receive leniency.
There’s nothing the judges can do, as their hands are tied by a legal system that doesn’t seem to recognise that, in the wrong hands, a vehicle is a lethal weapon.
How often have we seen weeping parents whose children have been killed by drunk or drugged-up drivers, or stupid boy racers who think they are invincible and end up in horror crashes like this one?
The judge declared that the boy will live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life.
He is not the only one. The victims’ families will serve life sentences of pain as they mourn those they have lost.
The boy may just have been looking for cheap thrills when he got in the car and didn’t begin to consider the consequences of his actions.
In another tragic case this week, a doctor was sentenced to four years in jail for causing the death of his nine-year-old daughter Olivia.
Chizoro Edohasim “drove like a lunatic” to get Olivia and her sister Eva to a private maths tutor on time.
Apparently he had been warned before about being late for the appointments.
He was spotted driving erratically and went through a red light in Altrincham, near Manchester, in May last year and ended up ploughing into a wall.
Dr Edohasim claimed that his brakes had failed, but this was proved to be untrue.
He will have to live with his criminal stupidity for the rest of his life, and all because he didn’t want to be late.
I honestly don’t think people realise that, every time they get behind the wheel, they are in charge of a piece of machinery that can kill others.
They cannot allow themselves to be distracted by mobile phones, let alone text behind the wheel, or become anxious if they are running late.
Far too many people really do need a rethink when it comes to their driving, before there are even more tragic outcomes.
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