Call For Bans For Dangerous Drivers

8 September 2016, 09:59 | Updated: 8 September 2016, 10:01

Friends and family of a couple killed by a hit-and-run driver who was 16 times the legal drug-driving limit are calling for lifetime bans for motorists convicted of death by dangerous driving.

They also want a review of sentencing guidelines to allow judges to impose jail terms for such crimes that match those for manslaughter.

Their campaign follows the jailing of builder Jodan Hunt whose dangerous driving killed Richard Lewis-Clements, 46, and his long-term partner Maria Smith, 48, in Eastbourne, East Sussex, on August 12.

Witnesses said father-of-two Hunt, 24, was travelling over the speed limit at up to double the 30mph speed restriction when his Seat Leon crashed into the couple's VW Polo, and then two other cars.

Before he crashed, Hunt was seen weaving his car between anti-terror barriers - put in place to stop a Nice-style atrocity at Eastbourne's popular summer Airbourne air show.

Hunt fled on foot following the fatal collision, but he was traced a mile away at the Cavendish Hotel where two hours earlier he had attended a wedding reception.

At Guildford Crown Court last month, Hunt, of Hobart Quay, Eastbourne, was jailed for six years after pleading guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

But friends and relatives of mother-of-three Ms Smith and Mr Lewis-Clements fear that with good behaviour he could be a free man in up to four years.

In an online petition, Ms Smith's cousin said: ``This is not good enough. Not because we want the driver to suffer. Not because we want revenge.

``We simply want an end to drivers being given free reign to drive like maniacs on our roads without consequences.

``If four years in jail is the most a driver who kills receives, what deterrents can there possibly be for people caught speeding or drink-driving?''

Hunt was also banned from driving for eight years and will have to take an extended re-test if he wants to get behind the wheel following his release.

More than 750 people have signed the petition at calling on Justice Secretary Liz Truss to introduce the changes.