Appeal over five-year sentence for Corby drink-drive killer rejected

Andrew Den-Drijver was sentenced to five years and two months in prison.
Andrew Den-Drijver was sentenced to five years and two months in prison.

The daughter of a Corby woman who died after being struck by a drink-driver has spoken of her frustration after her appeal against the killer’s sentence was rejected.

Andrew Den-Drijver, 28, was twice the drink-drive limit when his Renault Megane careered on to the pavement of Jubilee Avenue and killed 51-year-old Janice Buckland on January 24 last year.

Janice Buckland.

Janice Buckland.

He was sentenced to five years and two months in prison - of which he will serve half - with Janice’s daughter Lisa appealing the sentence saying it was “a kick in the teeth”.

But her appeal was rejected earlier this week by the Attorney General’s Office despite serious consideration.

Lisa said: “It’s such a let down and I can’t understand why they won’t make him serve his full sentence, it’s beyond me.

“I’m not asking them to extend his sentence, I just want him to serve the full time he was given.

“People get locked up for longer than he did for drug offences and I’m not saying that’s not right, but he took my mum’s life.

“Two-and-a-half years won’t make a difference to him and he’ll be out with his family after that.

“I understand the judge just has a job to do but all I can feel is frustration.”

After being arrested Den-Drijver was breathalysed and gave a reading of 81mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35.

He admitted that he had been drinking beer and vodka until 3am on the day but thought he was “fine to drive”.

In his response to Miss Buckland’s appeal, solicitor general Robert Buckland QC MP said it would not be appropriate to refer the sentence.

He said: “I am sorry to tell you that after carefully considering this case, I have concluded that it would not be appropriate for me to refer this sentence to the Court of Appeal as I do not believe that it would be increased.

“I know that my news will be very disappointing to you and I wanted to write to you personally to explain my decision.

“When sentencing this type of offence, judges must refer to guidelines issued by the Sentencing Council.

“You may be aware that Mr Den-Drijver entered a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity and this was something that the judge had to take into account when passing sentence.

“I have considered the relevant guideline and looked closely at the range of sentences available and I do not believe that the sentence passed was outside the range of sentences which the judge could have properly imposed.

“It would therefore not be appropriate for me to refer this sentence.

“I am sorry that I am unable to give you the news that you would have been hoping for at this difficult time but I hope that you understand that I have given very serious consideration to whether I could refer the sentences to the Court of Appeal but in the end concluded that I could not.”