Family of tandem couple killed by 11-times convicted dangerous driver petition Prime Minister for tougher sentences

Hit and run speeding driver who killed married couple jailed for ten years, but could be out in 2018

The family of a Bristol couple who were killed on their tandem by a hit and run disqualified driver have handed in a petition for tougher sentences for disqualified drivers who offend again to Downing Street.

Ross and Clare Simons were killed by Nicholas Lovell, a four-times convicted dangerous driver who failed to stop after hitting the couple.

Lovell had been spotted speeding by police and was being pursued shortly before he struck and killed the couple, and admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one of driving while disqualified.

He was jailed for 10 years and six months in May last year, having previously been convicted on 11 separate occasions of driving while disqualified - but he could be out of jail much sooner.

Ross aged 34 and Clare, 30, who had just learnt that they had been approved for IVF treatment, both died at the scene of the incident in Hanham, Bristol, on 27 January last year.

More than 15,000 people have now signed the petition 'Justice for Ross and Clare Simons', both on and offline.

Mr Simons' sister, Kelly Woodruff, told the BBC: "You are living a nightmare every day. Everyone says that time heals, but I am going to carry this until the day I die.

"This is never going to leave me and he is going to come out of prison in four years time. He has a release date already for 2018 - he's going to be out and he's not going to care while we've been given a life sentence and we don't want it."

Mr Simons' father, Edwin, said there should be a more robust system in place for "these prolific law breakers" and called for the police and politicians to have a "way of pulling them out of the system and getting them off the streets".

In a similar case we reported last month, the mother of a cyclist killed when a motorist struck him from behind has said that people convicted of careless driving should be required to retake their driving test before getting their licence back.

Deborah Lumley-Holmes, aged 53, drove into the back of 51-year-old Julian Evans on Newmarket Road, Risby, on October 7, 2012. He suffered serious head injuries and died in hospital the following day at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Lumley-Holmes, who pleaded guilty at her trial to causing Mr Evans’ death through dangerous driving, was handed a six-month suspended sentence and banned from driving for a year.

But the victim’s mother, Janet Evans, insists that motorists convicted in such cases should have to sit their test again and that bans should be longer.

She said “I think it should be mandatory that she should re-take the driving test and I think the ban should be longer than a mere 12 months."

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.

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