Family to meet minister over sentences for dangerous driving after three deaths
A family will challenge ministers over what they believe is the unduly lenient sentence for a man whose dangerous driving led to the deaths of their loved ones.
Paul Carter, his wife Lisa, and Lisa’s daughter Jade Mace died on the A47 in Norfolk in January.
Aurelijus Cielevicius pleaded guilty to causing their deaths by dangerous driving,.
He was found to be under the influence of a cocktail of drugs and was driving at more than 90mph before the collision took place.
He was sentenced to 10-and-a-half years in prison after escaping from the crash with minor inquiries.
Michael Tomlinson, the Solicitor General, has committed to meet Summer Mace, who lost her mother, stepfather and sister in the crash, and who plans to question why an appeal was not granted to have Cielevicius’s sentence extended.
Ms Mace, a 24-year-old trainee teacher, said she and her family have been left with the “life sentence” of losing their loved ones while Cielevicius could walk free in less than a decade if granted parole.
“Personally, for me, nothing in my life will ever be the same again. I always lived with my mum and my sister and then Paul came along, and my life will never be the same again,” Ms Mace said.
“Every single event I go through will be tainted. Yet he, in seven years, could be walking around fine and back to his normal life.”
Ms Mace, who lives in King’s Lynn in west Norfolk, will use her meeting with the minister to ask that judges are reminded they may now impose life sentences for death by dangerous driving.
She will also call for closer control of bail conditions, including greater use of electronic tagging to enforce curfews.
At the time of the crash, Cielevicius was on bail for a driving offence, and Ms Mace and her father Jason believe tagging could have prevented the crash which killed their family members.
Ministers will also be asked to consider revising sentencing guidelines, to ensure consecutive sentences are served in cases where multiple people have died by dangerous driving.
Ms Mace added: “At the end of the day, my family are not a statistic, they’re not a number. They are people that were taken in the most cruel way possible.”
An online petition started by Ms Mace calling for the changes has gathered more than 13,000 signatures.
Her petition was raised in the House of Commons by James Wild, the MP for North West Norfolk, who told MPs: “Summer and her family cannot understand why the life sentence they have been dealt has not been imposed on this offender.”
He added: “Nothing will bring back Lisa Carter, Paul Carter or Jade Mace, but their families are committed to helping make changes to prevent other families from experiencing the nightmare that they have.”
Mr Tomlinson agreed to meet the family at Mr Wild’s request, and apologised for a mistake which indicated to Ms Mace that ministers did not pay close enough heed to the details of her family’s case.
In a letter explaining the reason for not granting an appeal, the Solicitor General referred to the original trial judge as “he”, when the judge was a woman.
“It was an error, it was my error, and I apologise. However, the case was carefully considered,” Mr Tomlinson told the Commons.
The Solicitor General also explained current sentencing guidelines for death by dangerous driving and commended Ms Mace and her family for their bravery.Published: by Radio NewsHub