The fiancee of one of two cyclists killed by a drunk driver in Reading last year has renewed her appeal for drivers found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving to serve consecutive sentences for each death.
Tracey Fidler, the partner of Kris Jarvis, one of the cyclists killed, says a petition to examine a change in the law "needs 100,000 signatures to get to the Houses of Parliament and stand a hope of getting the law changed to make the road safer for everyone". The petition closes on March 30 and currently has almost 59,000 signatures.
Kris Jarvis, 39, and John Morland, 30, were killed by Alexander Walter, 31, on February 13, 2014. Walter was driving at 70mph in a 30mph zone, had over twice the blood alcohol limit, had used cocaine within the last 24 hours, was already banned from driving and uninsured, and had taken his partner's black BMW convertible without permission.
Walter entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 10 years and 3 months in jail. He appealed against the length of the sentence but was turned down by Appeal Court judge Mr Justice Globe who observed that the prosecution had made an “overwhelming” case, and described the effect of Walter's actions as “devastating.”
Kris Jarvis had five children and was planning to wed Tracey Fidler in 2015. John Morland had two children and had set a date for his marriage to Hayley Lindsay in May 2016.
Kris Jarvis’s fiancée, Tracey Fidler and John Morland's fiancée, Hayley Lindsay launched a petition calling on the Government to change the law so that sentences for causing death by dangerous driving can be served consecutively rather than concurrently.
Renewing her appeal for signatories to the petition, Tracey Fidler said: "The aim is to get the law changed so dangerous drivers who kill, will get up to the 14 year maximum sentence per person killed, so when a multiple fatality [occurs], each victim is treated as individuals, and the 2 sentences will run consecutively, not concurrently, as they do now.
"We need 100,000 signatures to get to the Houses of Parliament and stand a hope of getting the law changed, to make the road safer for everyone. Please take the time to sign and share our petition to everyone you know. Kris and John would be really grateful, and myself and Hayley and the rest of our families are too."
The petition is supported by Alok Sharma, the Conservative MP for Reading West. In a House of Commons debate on sentencing last year he said: “If Walter had been given 14 years for each death, he would now be facing 28 years behind bars rather than being out in what will probably be a lot less than 10 years.”
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.