A mother has spoken of her anger after a drug-driver who killed her daughter launched a legal bid to have his jail sentence reduced.
Samuel Etherington, 20, mowed down Jasmine Allsop, 14, and her friend Olivia Lewry, 16, as they chatted outside a house party.
Unemployed sports coach Etherington, of Gosport, Hampshire, pleaded guilty to death by dangerous driving and he was jailed for nine years in February, this year, at Winchester Crown Court. But he has now been granted an appeal against his jail term, claiming the sentence was too tough and not enough credit was given for his guilty plea.
Jasmine’s mother Rose Allsop, 38, said, “I think it’s disgusting he would do this. His sentence was too lenient to start with now he wants it cut further. I’m shocked the judge would even consider his appeal. His barrister said he was utterly remorseful during his trial. I don’t believe that for a second; he’s only thinking about himself.
“When he killed Jasmine, he gave me a life sentence. He didn’t just rob me of my daughter, he took my best friend. He’s wrecked two families. When I heard he’d launched an appeal I was just overwhelmed with anger. He only got nine years for killing two young girls who had the rest of their lives ahead of them. Nine years. You get more for burglary, he’ll probably only serve four and be out with his mates again. He should have got the maximum 14 years for each of the girls. Is nine years all they were worth?
“But now he wants to get this pathetic sentence reduced. This has just added insult to injury. The community have been very supportive. People are just as disgusted at this appeal.”
Ms Allsop, who lived just yards from the crash site, cradled her daughter’s body for four hours after the collision at about 4.15am on November 3 last year, in Ann's Hill Road, Gosport.
The judge hearing the case was told that blood tests carried out on Etherington showed that he had taken "recreational levels" of ketamine and mephedrone within the 24 hours prior to the incident.
A black box fitted to the vehicle for insurance purposes showed that Etherington had been travelling at 65mph in a 30mph limit when the collision occurred.
Ms Allsop, of Gosport, Hampshire, has now launched civil proceedings against Etherington in a bid for justice and raise awareness around reducing the risk of similar occurrence on the roads for vulnerable pedestrians.
She added, “I think he should have been done for manslaughter. The black box in his car showed he didn’t make any attempt to swerve or hit the brakes. Even the judge said this was one of the worst cases of death by dangerous driving he had ever seen; yet he only got nine years. And now he’s challenging that and putting us through all this again.
“We have to pursue justice, not just for me but my other daughter, Jasmine’s six-year-old sister, and all the traumatised teenagers in Gosport. This has been really traumatic for a lot of young people who saw what happened.”
Her lawyer Matthew Claxson, of Slater and Gordon, said, “This was a truly appalling incident. It is unimaginable what Rose has been through. Having her bright and talented daughter killed in this way has been devastating. And now to be put through an appeal by her daughter’s killer must be deeply upsetting.
“Rose feels let down by the justice system and is seeking justice through the civil process. Unfortunately, in many cases of deaths on the road involving motor vehicles, victims and their relatives feel hard done by when the sentences are handed down. Launching a civil action is one of the avenues available to victims to achieve some closure.
“Vulnerable road users and pedestrians need to be given greater protection from drivers who pose a serious risk to others.”
Matthew Claxson is a Personal Injury Lawyer at Slater and Gordon in London.
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