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Mothers of seven fatherless children launch ePetition for sentences for drivers who kill multiple victims to be doubled

Two women whose partners were killed by one drunk driver in Purley on Thames this year have launched an online petition to increase the sentencing in dangerous driving cases.

Seven children were left fatherless when John Morland and Kris Jarvis died after being hit by a BMW driven by Alexander Walters.

Walters, who had over twice the blood alcohol limit and had used cocaine within the last 24 hours when he hit and killed the cyclists, was sentenced to 10 years and three months for dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking, after pleading guilty to a total of seven offences at Reading Crown Court on April 16.

The court heard he had 67 previous convictions.

“They classed John and Kris as one person – he (Walters) got ten years three months for (both) the deaths of Kris and John,” Tracey Fidler told Newbury Today.

“We want the sentence to be applicable to both men – which would double the sentence to 20 years and six months,” she said.

“The guy that did it only got a little sentence – and we got a life sentence.”

The petition has nearly 7,000 signatures. To sign, click here.

The petition is worded:

On Thursday 13th February 2014, friends Kris Jarvis and John Morland had been out cycling and where returning home via Purley and were struck by a speeding car, both men were killed.

Kris and his fiancée, Tracey, have 5 children and John and his fiancée, Hayley, have 2 children.

The driver of the car pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, driving while uninsured and disqualified and aggravated vehicle taking, the driver of the speeding car received 10 years and three months sentence.

Alexander Walter was 2 ½ times over the legal drink limit and had taken drugs 24 hours before and had 67 previous convictions.

Dangerous driving can have devastating consequences. Tracey and Hayley would like to see the Government change the law, so if a driver receives a sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, the driver receives the maximum sentence, of 14 years, per person that has been killed.

In April we reported Walter’s sentencing. Judge John Reddihough told Walter that "two completely innocent young men and with families" were killed as a result of his "thoughtless, selfish and dangerous actions".

He said the evidence against Walter was "overwhelming" adding: "Seven children are left without a father and two women have been left without partners. Of course there is also the effect on the other members of their family."

The court heard that Walter had appeared in court 14 times over 67 offences including obtaining property by deception, dishonesty, false representation, and making a bomb hoax. In 2010 he was handed a four-year ban and should not have been driving again until December this year.

The victims worked for Reading Borough Council and were keen riders. Kris Jarvis had five children and was planning to wed fiancée Tracey Fidler next year. John Morland had two children and had set a date for his marriage to fiancée Hayley Lindsay in May 2016.

Prosecutor Alan Blake noted said the grieving relatives had made "devastating" victim statements.

He said: "It includes Amanda Morland (Mr Morland's sister) saying that part of her died with John on that day and they (the family) will never be the same again.

"There were similar expressions by the partner of Kris Jarvis (Tracey Fidler) who describes how difficult it is dealing with the loneliness she suffers, having never previously spent the night apart."

James House, defending, said Walter had written a letter to bereaved families.

Mr House said Walter "offers his heartfelt apologies" knowing that it would never make up for what he had done but he had admitted his guilt.

Walter was also banned for driving for 15 years and will have to pass an extended test.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

15 comments

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tonyleatham [13 posts] 1 year ago
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Even twenty years isn't enough to my mind. With 67 past offences, the guy will almost certainly harm other innocent people on his no doubt early release.

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antonio [1103 posts] 1 year ago
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Should we really be signing petitions to get confirmed persistent criminals real judicial sentences, time the government stepped in with firm laws instead of the wishy washy system now in force. I signed up straight away on seeing petition.

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anarchy [99 posts] 1 year ago
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signed, everyone should

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Izaak30 [123 posts] 1 year ago
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This is not just about the death of cyclists, but about how we can better deter eejits from consistently getting behind the wheels of a car or motorbike and causing devastating mayhem because of idiotic decisions they make. Please sign and try and get tougher sentences where appropriate

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Argos74 [372 posts] 1 year ago
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Signed and shared.

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jacknorell [942 posts] 1 year ago
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Signed. Clearly, this person should never be let back out as he cannot stay within any law.

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SHFbikebloke [6 posts] 1 year ago
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Well if he is put away for 10yrs he can't pay anybody back can he?

First thing is life time driving ban - or life if he is caught driving again
Then jail until he shows full remorse
Then work and pay back the families for their financial losses - he couldn't have been insured as he was driving while banned.

Unfortunately the criminal courts are concerned with guilt or innocence and not with compensation. The families should be able to take a civil case against him (I trust for everything they need) for this and it won't be difficult as his guilt is established

#roadjustice

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truffy [653 posts] 1 year ago
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Quote:

The court heard that Walter had appeared in court 14 times over 67 offences including obtaining property by deception, dishonesty, false representation, and making a bomb hoax. In 2010 he was handed a four-year ban and should not have been driving again until December this year.

This should have been taken into account as aggravating circumstances, perhaps to extend the charge to manslaughter, but certainly to increase the punishment. This POS should never be behind the wheel of a vehicle again.

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vanmildert [50 posts] 1 year ago
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A driving ban isn't going to stop him getting back behind the wheel sadly - I just hope he's monitored on release which will probably be long before the 10 year tariff expires.

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cyclingDMlondon [481 posts] 1 year ago
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I mean no disrespect to the families of those killed, but you are wasting your time.

Your 'petition' will be printed out, taken into the bog by whichever Minister or Under-Secretary receives it, and used to wipe his arse.

I'm sorry, but government (as well as car drivers) understand one thing and one thing only: violence.

It's ugly, it's horrific and it's terrifying, but all the 'petitions' in the world are not going to change the way that cyclists are treated in this country.

I am very sorry for your loss.  2

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truffy [653 posts] 1 year ago
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cyclingDMlondon wrote:

I'm sorry, but government (as well as car drivers) understand one thing and one thing only: violence.

Are you serious?

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cyclingDMlondon [481 posts] 1 year ago
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truffy wrote:
cyclingDMlondon wrote:

I'm sorry, but government (as well as car drivers) understand one thing and one thing only: violence.

Are you serious?

No, I just thought it'd be a laugh to play with you all.

*rolls eyes*

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stumps [3187 posts] 1 year ago
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The judge should have sentenced him to consecutive sentences and not concurrent. He could also have been set a minimum tarif to serve before he was considered for release.

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nuclear coffee [205 posts] 1 year ago
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Signed. I know it's cliched, but all the "motorist vs cyclists" bollocks really is that - we need idiots of all kind taken off the roads. Unfortunately that needs more police far more than it needs throwing the book at someone AFTER they've killed, but hopefully this is a start.

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Matt eaton [733 posts] 1 year ago
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The real crime is that this was a preventable tragedy. The guy was a known criminal already on a driving ban. If you know that someone has no qualms about breaking the law it seems pretty stupid to trust them to adhere to a driving ban. was anyone checking up on him? Obviously not. Punishments after the event don't really help matters. We might think of it as a deterrant but if people aren't thinking about the consequences of their actions (and this cretin certainly wasn't) then it doesn't make a dot of difference.