Family slam justice system for jail term

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The family of a 24-year-old father-to-be who was killed when a reckless driver ploughed into him while showing off has slammed the justice system for the sentence his killer received.

Farm worker Joseph Weston (21) was jailed for five years on Monday after Nottingham Crown Court was told how he was seen speeding up the A60 at Cuckney Hill ‘like lightning.’

Accident investigators said the farmworker was doing 90mph when he lost control of his high-powered Ford Fiesta on a left-hand bend, smashing head-on into Luke Winter, of Nether Langwith, on 15th August last year.

His father, Geoff, told Chad yesterday he and his family felt neither they, nor Luke, had received justice.

He added: “He will be out in two-and-a-half-years. You can see why the country is going to the dogs because there is not a deterrent.

“In prison they get three meals a day, go to the gym and play a bit of pool.”

Geoff said the family’s suffering was prolonged when Weston’s sentencing was delayed a few weeks ago less then 24 hours before it was due to begin.

“We have lost a wonderful boy and feel at times they have lost the plot with that. I have never been a bitter bloke but we have not had justice,” he said.

In a letter which he read out personally to the court, Geoff described his son as a friendly and compassionate person who loved animals.

He said: “When he came home he would walk into our kitchen and say ‘how you doing, parents?’ and dive into the fridge. When he was leaving he would always kiss me and say ‘see you pop.’

“Since 15th August last year we cry all the time and our stomachs are permanently knotted.

“I believe in my country and the justice system and appeal to you to make an example of this man. His family may cry but they will get him back.”

Letters were also read out from other family members, including Luke’s partner Keeley Nattriss, who gave birth to their daughter, Nancy, on 11th January.

David Allan, prosecuting, told the court how Weston had pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving during a previous hearing.

He said: “The lights changed at some traffic lights and Weston shot off like lightning from Church Warsop up Cuckney Hill.

“The taxi driver who observed it said if he had wings he would have taken off.”

“In February last year a Grade 1 Police driver did a test run on the same road and drove around the bend at 86mph and but said it was not safe to drive faster than that.”

Martin Hurst, defending, said Weston was 20 at the time of the accident and had been driving tractors since the age of 13 and ‘this behaviour was totally out of character.’

As he sentenced Weston, Judge John Milmo said his sentencing powers were limited by acts of parliament. He also banned him from driving for five years with an extended re-test.

He added: “The consequences of your driving were entirely down to you. The fact is you survived but Mr Winter’s family will have to survive with their loss.”

DC Mark Henshaw, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Crash Investigation Unit, said: “Weston was showing off the power of his car and going far too fast, his actions were totally reckless and ruined so many lives in a split second.”