Tyne & Wear

Parents of Rebecca Gallois forgive driver after crash

The parents of a teenager who died in a crash in Northumberland have explained their decision to forgive the driver.

Rebecca Gallois, 17, died when the car she was in overturned in May 2010. Simon Liddle, 20, admitted causing death by careless driving.

Her parents David and Carol Gallois said they had forgiven him on the condition that he achieved something meaningful with his life.

A statement from them was read at his sentencing at Newcastle Crown Court.

Liddle, of Beaumont Terrace, Prudhoe, was given a 12-month community order, 300 hours unpaid work, a three-month curfew and was disqualified from driving for three years.

Mr Gallois, who lives in Canada, said he had made the decision after meeting Liddle for the first time.

He said: "I tried to get a feeling for what Simon was like as a person. I concluded that I liked him and he was truly remorseful.

"And I realised at that moment in time that if roles were reversed I would beg for some compassion from someone.

"But I felt the need to just hold him and let him know we will get through this. It's an accident. I just need you to do something meaningful with your life now that you still have yours and she doesn't."

'Dig down'

They gave Liddle a list of challenges including making his life meaningful, "doing something great with your hands, head or heart", not complaining about a bad day and doing something in the community.

Mr Gallois said: "I hope that Simon certainly knows he is supported and not hated.

"He needs to dig down and find the will within him to be strong and move forward and feel supported and do something that at the end of the day he can be proud of."

He explained they had made the decision because it is what their daughter would have wanted.

He said: "She was not one to hold grudges and always try and hope that if something is done wrong, forgive the person and maybe they will do better next time."

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