Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 16:15 UK

'Our lives have been shattered'

Amanda and Philip Peak
Philip and Amanda Peak say they will always carry the emotional scars

The family of two young brothers killed by footballer Luke McCormick in a crash said their lives had been "totally devastated".

Arron Peak, 10, and Ben Peak, eight, died when the former Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper's car collided with one being driven by their father.

The family had been travelling on the M6 in Staffordshire, heading for a day out at Silverstone.

Their father Philip suffered serious injuries, including a crushed spine, which left him in a wheelchair. He may never fully recover.

THE FAMILY

In a statement read to the court Philip and his wife Amanda said: "Our whole lives have been shattered... all our hopes and dreams for the future have been taken away from us."

Outside court, Pc Andy Kavanagh read a further statement from them which said: "We are pleased that at last Luke McCormick decided to face up to the fact he has caused the deaths of Arron and Ben.

"However, we are disappointed to discover that he will be eligible for parole after only three and a half years.

"In court his barrister spoke of the effect this case has had on Luke. We find this offensive.

"He will restart his life when he is still a young man. Our sons will never experience the things Luke has had.

"Phil will carry the scars of the incident for life. We will both carry the emotional scars forever."

THE JUDGE

Judge Paul Glenn told the 25-year-old footballer he had paid little regard to others on the road as he drove back from a wedding, despite being over the alcohol limit.

Stoke Crown Court heard McCormick had been unhappy at the wedding because of rumours concerning his fiancee's alleged infidelity.

"You prioritised your own perceived needs, including, it seems, sorting out your love life over the safety of other road users," the judge told him.

"There was no good reason why you couldn't have stayed in that hotel for a few more hours to get the rest you needed... you chose not to do that."

CCTV footage showed McCormick leaving his hotel, the Ramada Jarvis, at 0432 BST on 7 June.

Luke McCormick
The ex-Plymouth Argyle player had been at a former team-mate's wedding

He ignored a telephone plea from his room-mate Paul Maxwell, a physiotherapist, to stop driving immediately and pull over at services.

The court heard McCormick passed at least three services on the M6 after receiving this call.

Judge Glenn said McCormick, who fell asleep at the wheel before the fatal crash, drove at inappropriate speeds, sometimes reaching in excess of 100 mph (161 kph).

THE POLICE

Sgt Steve Robinson said police hoped the sentence would provide some closure for the family of Arron and Ben.

"This has been a devastating tragedy for all concerned, particularly for Phil and Amanda and for all family and friends.

"Luke was clearly driving excessively. He was driving dangerously and he was tired.

"He was also under the influence of alcohol. All these factors made Luke's driving quite horrendous."




SEE ALSO
Death crash footballer is jailed
06 Oct 08 |  England
Plymouth end McCormick contract
22 Jul 08 |  Plymouth
Player charged after crash deaths
08 Jun 08 |  Staffordshire
Footballer held over death crash
08 Jun 08 |  Staffordshire

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