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EDITIONS
 Friday, 3 January, 2003, 13:12 GMT
Widow's anger at teenagers' sentence
The scene of the crash
The teenage brothers both fell asleep in their car
Hundreds of villagers are backing a widow's campaign to keep the teenage brothers who caused her husband's death in prison.

About 700 people have signed a petition organised by Anne Smith, whose husband was killed in a car crash on the A40 near Cassington, Oxfordshire.

Learner driver Paul Folan, 17, and Martin Folan, 19, who had both fallen asleep when their car careered onto the wrong side of the road, could be released after less than a year in prison.

The petition calling for them to stay in prison is also backed by MP for Witney David Cameron, who is calling for the home secretary to intervene.

Anne Smith
Anne Smith is calling for a longer sentence
Mrs Smith, 42, said: "A lot of villagers have said to me that it should have been a life for a life. It's just ruined our lives.

"We are absolutely disgusted with it really, the whole family. I think they should have at least got two years.

"When you start out with three years and nine months and you end up after the appeal process with them only serving nine months it's little surprise that the victims feel rather cheated."

Sentences reduced

The brothers were both jailed for three years and nine months at Oxford Crown Court in April 2002.

Paul Folan pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, having no insurance and driving without a proper licence.

Martin Folan admitted aiding and abetting death by dangerous driving and permitting the no-insurance and no-driving licence offences.

But, in November, the brothers, both of Camberwell, London, had their sentences reduced to two years at the Court of Appeal.

The pair could now be released at the end of this month after serving just nine months in prison.

David Smith, 46, of Church Road, Long Hanborough, was killed in the crash in December 2001.


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