North East Wales

Clwyd South MP urges tougher sentences for driving crimes

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Media captionRobert Gaunt died following a hit-and-run collision near his home in Overton in 2009

An MP has brought a bill before parliament calling for tougher sentences for motorists convicted of driving offences causing death or serious injury.

Susan Elan Jones said she wants justice for the family of Robert Gaunt, nine, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver who served just 10 months in jail.

His family, from Overton, thought the sentence too lenient.

The Clwyd South MP said judges need more clarity on the maximum sentences.

The Driving Offences (Review of Sentencing Guidelines) Bill calls on the government to look again at the maximum penalties for driving which lead to death and serious injury.

"For too long those who commit serious driving offences have been receiving overly lenient sentences," said Ms Jones.

"A review must be made of the maximum penalties in order to get justice for those families torn apart by these terrible offences."

'Let down'

Ms Jones told BBC Radio Wales there was huge support for the bill from MPs of all political parties and she hoped changes would be made.

The bill was introduced under the ten-minute rule, which is one way backbench MPs can introduce legislation.

However, the process is used more as a means of making a point on the need to change the law on a particular subject as there is little parliamentary time available.

The MP's call comes following years of campaigning by the family of Robert Gaunt, who claimed they had been "let down" by the justice system after his death.

The schoolboy was hit by David Lunn's Jaguar XJ sport, and thrown into the path of a Ford Fiesta travelling the other way, while he crossed the A539 at Overton on his bicycle.

He later died in Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool.

David Lunn, of Queen's Park, Wrexham, was jailed for 22 months in 2011 and banned from driving for four years after he admitted perverting the course of justice.

Lunn, 65, also admitted two charges of causing death while he had no licence or insurance.

Lunn failed to stop and later arranged to have his bonnet and grille replaced, the court heard.

He also burned part of his bumper and light fittings in a skip in the yard of his business.

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