Bid for tougher driving ban laws moves nearer

William Wilson, whose driving ban will mostly be served while he is in prison
William Wilson, whose driving ban will mostly be served while he is in prison
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Plans to ensure motorists serve driving bans after leaving prison have been welcomed.

At present driving bans and prison sentences are served concurrently – often meaning those who caused death on the road can get behind the wheel straight after their release.

Stephen Donnelly and Mandi Gold who died in a crash on the A14

Stephen Donnelly and Mandi Gold who died in a crash on the A14

The anomaly means drink-driver William Wilson, who hit a young couple’s car on the A14 near Naseby in June 2013, could serve most of his 10-year driving ban while in prison. He was jailed for eight years.

The parents of Stephen Donnelly, 26, who was killed in the accident alongside girlfriend Mandy Gold, 21, have previously met Kettering MP Philip Hollobone, who has raised the issue in Parliament.

Former Bishop Stopford student Stephen, who also attended Christ the King Church in Kettering, had been heading with Mandy back to their Yorkshire home.

And victims minister Mike Penning says such cases means courts should get extra powers – possibly as soon as Easter – to ensure bans continue to apply after an offender has come out of prison.

He added: “This will end the insulting situation where they can potentially serve all of their ban while they are still inside.”

Stephen’s parents Mark and Sue said: “We have always felt it was an anomaly that a driving ban had to run concurrently rather than consecutively with a custodial sentence.

“We are pleased that this Bill, if passed, will bring some extra sentencing powers to the courts for appropriate cases.

“We try not to dwell on this tragedy, although sorrow never leaves us, and we miss Stephen all the time. We believe that one day we will meet again. Our faith in Christ gives us this hope.”

Mr Hollobone said he was pleased ministers would make the “much-needed” change.