Peterborough dad ‘sick to the stomach’ over sentence of drink driver who killed wife and seriously injured two children

A Peterborough dad who lost his wife - and nearly lost his young son and daughter - when a drink driver ploughed into their car has called for a change in the law after the killer motorist was jailed for just nine years.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 11:47 am

Serial drink driver Adam White was twice the drink drive limit and speeding through traffic on the A16 in Crowland on January 23 last year when he caused the fatal crash, which killed Katy Cunningham, and left her 11-year-old daughter Freya fighting for her life. Freya’s younger brother, Zackeri (8) was also seriously injured, as was the driver of another car, Sharon Almey.

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Freya, Zackeri and Chris in hospital

Last week White (38), of Acacia Avenue, Spalding was given a nine year jail sentence by Judge Matthew Lowe after admitting causing death by dangerous driving, and three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was also banned from driving for 10 years.

The court heard White had served prison time for drink driving before causing the tragic crash - and was sentenced for drink driving again after the fatal collision after being caught swigging from a bottle of wine with his own daughter in the back of the car. Following the sentencing Chris Cunningham (37), husband of Katy and dad to Freya and Zackeri, was left fuming after hearing White could be released after just four and a half years. The law currently states 14 years is the maximum sentence available in cases of causing death by dangerous driving, and Judge Lowe had to give credit for White’s guilty plea.

Katy Cunningham

Chris said: “The judge was embarrassed by the sentence he was able to give. The law had tied his hands.

“I thought 14 years would never have been enough, but it would be better than four years.

“The fact he was given the opportunity to plead guilty (and get the sentence discount) was ridiculous. The evidence was so compelling, he had no choice but to plead guilty.

“The sentence makes a mockery of Katy’s life, and my children’s lives. It is disgusting. It is a verdict of non-justice.

Adam White

“The whole process makes me sick to my stomach.”

In October 2017, the Government announced plans to introduce life sentences as an option for judges in death by dangerous driving cases. However, it has still not been made law, and no timetable has been set for when it will be discussed in Parliament.

Chris said: “Even if he had killed five people in the crash, 14 years would have been the maximum. He (White) has got away with it for so long now.

“The law needs to change. There should be a zero tolerance on drink driving.”

Chris was originally told White would not be appearing in person at the hearing, but would instead be following the hearing via a video link from prison.

However, White was brought to Peterborough Crown Court, where the public gallery was filled with Katy’s friends and family - with some even sitting in the jury box for the sentencing.

Chris said: “I was very pleased he was there, in court. I wanted him to see and feel the seething looks.

“There was no element of remorse from him. I hope he felt uncomfortable.”