Family’s distress at ‘woefully inadequate’ sentence handed out to speeding driver who killed their son

Jamie Butcher. Photo supplied
Jamie Butcher. Photo supplied
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The Cambridgeshire family of a student killed in February 2011 when hit by a speeding motorist on a pedestrian crossing have said his three-and-a-half year jail term is “woefully inadequate”.

Michael Moore (40) had been driving at 58mph in a 30mph zone and jumped a red light when his Chrysler Cruiser car hit Jamie Butcher in Churchill Road, Wisbech.

Cambridge Crown Court heard on Monday (23 April) that he hit the 22-year-old with such force that his body was found 44 metres away from the crossing.

Moore who was speeding to get to a shop before it closed, initially failed to stop but drove back a few minutes later and called an ambulance.

Moore, of Murrow Lane, Parson Drove, who has previous convictions for burglary, was jailed for 43 months and banned from driving for three years.

Sentencing, Judge Gareth Hawkesworth said: “This is indeed a tragic case.

“It’s tragic in one sense for you because you will, I have no doubt, have this on your conscience and memory for the rest of your life.

“But it’s even more tragic for the family of the deceased whose lives have been shattered. Nothing I can do, in terms of the sentence, can bring him back.”

Mr Butcher’s family left the courtroom in tears.

As Moore was taken away, stepfather Steve Green shouted: “Do you understand what you have done?”

After the hearing, Mr Green said: “The sentence was woefully inadequate. He could be out of jail in just over a year - it’s ridiculous.

“We are going to approach our MP Stephen Barclay for help.

“I don’t think we will be able to change the sentence but we may be able to work together towards tougher sentencing for this type of offence.

“The punishment does not fit the crime.

“Jamie was such a beautiful lad. We have not coped well since his death.

“We have received counselling and medication. Nothing can make the situation right.

“We have lost him and he is never coming back to us. We will never be able to share any more happy times together.

“He was a warm, loving lad and he didn’t have an evil bone in him. He had a huge circle of friends and they are all heartbroken.”

His sister Hollie (20) added: “I am disgusted with the sentence. We have lost a beautiful person.

“I will have to live the rest of my life without him there to share moments such as getting married and having children.”

Mr Butcher, who had walked into town from his home in Stow Road, Wisbech, to withdraw money from a cashpoint, died at the scene.

After graduating from De Montfort University in Leicester with a degree in psychology, the former Neale Wade College student Mr Butcher had been offered and accepted a place on a post-graduate course in human rights at Manchester University.