A FAMILY are campaigning for harsher penalties for dangerous drivers after the man who killed their son was sentenced to just 43 months in prison.
Michael Moore (40), of Murrow Lane, Parson Drove, driving at almost double the speed limit when he ploughed into pedestrian Jamie Butcher (22) on February 20, 2011.
“He has destroyed the perfect family,” Jamie’s sister Hollie (20) said. “We were a great family of four. He has ruined everything.”
The family, including mum Tina Butcher and stepdad Steve Green, are campaigning with charity Roadpeace, which supports bereaved families and works for road safety, as well as working for more appropriate sentencing.
At Cambridge Crown Court on Monday, the court heard university student Jamie had just stepped onto the pelican crossing on Churchill Road, Wisbech, near the junction with Norwich Road, when the Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by Moore hit him.
Moore previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. On Monday, he was already in custody after being charged with burglary last week.
Police estimated, from CCTV evidence, that Moore’s average speed between the Freedom Bridge roundabout and the crossing was 58 miles per hour, practically double the 30 miles per hour speed limit on that stretch of road.
He claimed to police that he believed the limit was 40 or 50 miles per hour, a claim Judge Gareth Hawkesworth disputed.
The traffic lights had just turned red when Moore went through it and another driver in the nearside lane had already stopped, apparently prompting Jamie to start crossing the road before the pedestrian signal turned green.
David Matthews, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was 82 metres from the crossing when the lights changed to amber. If he had started to brake, he would just have been able to stop, even at that speed. And any impact would have been massively less.”
Sentencing Moore, Judge Hawkesworth said: “This is tragic in one sense for you, because you will have this in your conscience and memory for the rest of your life. It is even more tragic, of course, for the family of Jamie Butcher, who have had their lives shattered. Nothing I can do can bring him back.”
Moore was sentenced to 43 months, half of which will be served in custody. He was also disqualified from driving for four years.
However, the sentence was little comfort to Jamie’s devastated family, who shouted at Moore as he was led away.
Tina said: “If they said 30 years, it would never be enough. Jamie is never going to come back.”