The grieving family of a mum-of-two mowed down by a dangerous driver on a pedestrian crossing have said his eight-year jail sentence is unjustly lenient.
Damian Raeburn, of Stanley Street, Accrington was locked up last week for mowing down 47-year-old Susan Shaw in Rishton last Boxing Day. He admitted causing death by dangerous driving.
Burnley Crown Court heard that Raeburn, 32, had been pursued by more than four miles by police, jumped six red lights, collided with another car and driven at 77mph on a 30mph road.
Susan, carer to a son and daughter with severe learning difficulties, Leanne and Adam, died at the scene.
Now her sister Debbie Hudson, speaking on behalf of the family, has claimed the sentence is unjust and called for tougher sentences.
She said: “It’s disgusting, it really is. It’s as if the judge’s hands are tied, and they do need to change the law. It was the way he was driving and all the build up to it that makes it so bad. The fact he didn’t stop and then went on the run.
“I was expecting double figures. The law itself is unjust. He’s taken Adam and Leanne’s mother away. They are both so vulnerable and it’s heartbreaking for us.”
Currently killer drivers face up to 14 years in prison, with judges balancing mitigating and aggravating factors set down by law. A reduction of up to one-third is also applied for pleading guilty, as Raeburn did.
However, last October ministers backed proposals for life sentences for the most grievous driving offences following overwhelming public backing.
Debbie added: “There’s no sentence really that can bring her back to us and make it right.
“Our view is if you kill somebody, especially in that way, then you should get life. The deterrent is not strong enough.
“Hopefully he will be feeling guilty about what he has done for the rest of his life.”
Jailing Raeburn, Judge Beverley Lunt told him: “Even after you had hit Susan Shaw you did not stop. How any human being can drive off, leaving another human being lying in a road on a dark night at risk of further injury from other traffic, is beyond belief.”
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones said: “The judiciary are out of touch and the laws of this country too lenient. There are too many people who behave recklessly and criminally and don’t care. The damage he’s done is unquantifiable.”