Drink driver who killed three in horror Peterborough crash could have sentence extended

A drink and drug driver who killed three people after driving the wrong way on a Peterborough parkway could have his sentence extended.

Thursday, 13th June 2019, 6:14 pm
Tommy Whitmore
Tommy Whitmore

Tommy Whitmore was jailed for eight years and four months after killing Marko Makula, 22, and passengers Jana Kockova, 21, and Tomos Kocko, 19 in the horror crash on the Frank Perkins Parkway in April.

But now the Attorney General is reviewing the case after complaints were made that the sentence was too lenient.

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Tomas (left) Jana (Middle) and Marko (Right)

The Attorney General - The Rt Hon Geoffrey Cox QC MP - is expected to announce his decision within the next week. Decisions on referrals to the Attorney General are made within 28 days of the sentence, and Whitmore was jailed on May 20.

If the Attorney General rejects the submissions that the sentence is too lenient, Whitmore is likely to serve just four years and two months in jail, before being released on licence.

Following the sentencing, The Peterborough Telegraph launched a campaign to allow judges to impose more serious sentences - including life terms - for drivers who kill while intoxicated - either through drink or drugs.

Outside court Marko’s brother Mario said the family of the three Peterborough victims were ‘devastated’ by the sentence - and called for tougher punishments for drink and drug drivers who kill, who at the moment cannot receive more than 14 years in prison.

Mario labelled the sentence handed out to Whitmore as ‘insulting.’

Whitmore, 26, from Pinchbeck, in Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to three counts of causing death by dangerous driving at Peterborough Crown Court.

He was driving a black Ford Ranger Wildtrak, which collided with a Renault Megane on the westbound carriageway of the Frank Perkins Parkway at just after midnight on Sunday, April 14.

He drove at speed the wrong way along the carriageway, hitting the Renault and killing the driver, Marko, and passengers Jana, and Tomos.

Marko and his fiancée Jana were parents to two young children who were left orphaned by the crash. Tomos was Jana’s younger brother.

Whitmore, who was drunk and under the influence of cannabis, was seen driving erratically by other drivers shortly before the collision. He had also been awake for more than 20 hours.

The force of the head-on impact caused both cars to be thrown into the air.

Whitmore took a roadside breath test and blew 83 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath: more than double the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.

In interview, Whitmore told officers he had been out for a meal and to a bar, where he had been drinking, and said although he knew he would be over the legal limit he felt safe to drive.

At the end of 2017 the Government set out plans to introduce life sentences for people who cause death by dangerous driving and for careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs, but since then no legislation has been introduced.

The family of a grandfather killed by a drug driver in Bretton have also backed the Peterborough Telegraph’s campaign for longer sentences for drink and drug drivers who kill,

Michael Howard was riding his motorcycle when he was struck by the stolen car being driven by Neville Smith. Smith was jailed for six years and four months.

Speaking to the Peterborough Telegraph, Ann Kidd, Michael’s sister, said: “His crime means that my family will always feel they are missing a part of them for the rest of their lives. There isn’t a day goes past where we don’t think of Mikey or think we have seen him. Whilst we know our grief will subside, we have lost our future with Mikey, but Neville Smith still gets to walk free and continue with his life after serving only half of his sentence.

“We know that giving bigger sentences will not bring your loved one back but it does give you peace of mind the offender will at least share some of your pain for their crime.”