Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Death crash family call for 'independent' investigation

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Media captionFamily 'cautiously optimistic' over Isle of Man crash probe

The family of a woman killed by a car in the Isle of Man is calling for an independent investigation into why the driver had been released from jail.

Donovan Kitching, 30, from St John's was sentenced to 10 years and 72 days after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

He was released from prison three weeks before he ran over and killed Gwen Valentine, 62, on 26 April.

Kitching was over the drink-drive limit at the time of the crash.

When arrested on suspicion of drink driving he assaulted a police officer before driving away at speed.

He hit Ms Valentine, from Winchester, Hampshire, who was walking by the side of the road with family and friends.

She had just retired from her job and was due to get married.

Her son, Stuart, said he could not understand why Kitching's potential to reoffend went unnoticed by the prison authorities.

He added: "We heard that the social report into Mr Kitching, provided for sentencing, had rated him as a medium risk for re-offending.

Rehabilitation questions

"The deemster disagreed with that rating in strong terms and we entirely agree.

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Media captionGwen Valentine had been retired for one week when she was killed

"We cannot understand such a rating given the circumstances".

The Valentine family has written to the Isle of Man's coroner to ask for an investigation.

"The court process has established that Mr Kitching is criminally responsible for Gwen's death, but has not determined the wider question of whether her death was avoidable. We still have questions," said Mr Valentine.

Specifically the family are asking about the effectiveness of the Isle of Man's probation system, prisoner risk assessments system and prisoner rehabilitation system.

"The deemster said that the [prison intervention] system had failed both the public and Mr Kitching.

"In our view that systemic failure includes Kitching's early release on parole," said Mr Valentine.

"We would like to know what probation monitoring was in place and whether or not it was appropriate and enforced."

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