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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 08:30 GMT
Call for road death law change
Rebecca Sawyer
Rebecca Sawyerv was killed in the hit-and-run
A Labour peer has called for judges to be given more powers in sentencing drivers who have killed others on the road.

Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate - a former chief superintendent of Durham Police - wants a change in the law which would prevent re-offending.

Lord Mackenzie will ask the House of Lords on Wednesday whether the government is planning to tighten up laws on drivers who kill.

He is expected to highlight the case of Ian Carr, a criminal with 89 previous convictions, who killed six-year-old Rebecca Sawyer in Northumberland on New Year's Eve.

Lord Mackenzie will suggest judges should be given the power to give an indeterminate sentence.

It seems obvious to me that you can't have people like Ian Carr... putting the public at great risk
Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate

This would mean that if dangerous drivers show any signs of re-offending once they have been released from prison, they can be sent straight back to jail.

Lord Mackenzie told BBC Radio Newcastle: "I have seen David Blunkett already and he was certainly very sympathetic.

"I have another meeting set up with Lord Faulkner from the Home Office.

"I will see what the response is today to my question and I will take it from there.

"I will be very surprised if there was a great deal of opposition.

"It seems obvious to me that you can't have people like Ian Carr, repeat offenders going around taking cars seemingly unable to help themselves and putting the public at great risk."

Carr, 27, was given a nine-and-a-half year jail term, after he crashed into the Sawyer family's Citroen in Ashington.

Lord Mackenzie's question in the Lords is guaranteed a reply by a Home Office Minister.

Officer calls for change in law
25 Feb 03 |  England
Killer driver's 89 convictions
10 Jan 03 |  England

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