Page last updated at 14:09 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

Death crash sentence may increase

Nigel Gresham
Nigel Gresham denied causing the deaths by dangerous driving

A Lincolnshire man responsible for the deaths of four of his children when he crashed into a river could have his jail sentence extended.

Nigel Gresham, 37, was jailed for two years after being convicted at Lincoln Crown Court of causing death by dangerous driving.

The attorney general has now referred the sentence to the Court of Appeal.

Two-year-old Willow, Angel, aged four, Thor, six and eight-year-old Keavy died in the River Witham in September 2007.

Father-of-seven Gresham, formerly of Chapel Hill, was jailed in January after the court decided he had been driving too fast in a Land Rover made unsafe by a series of modifications.

Hopefully he has realised that he has done wrong
Pete Bolland, children's grandfather

The judge said collision investigators had never seen such a badly-maintained vehicle before.

Gresham, who had denied the charges, told the jury he "did everything he could" and claimed he was in a "no-win situation".

After the case his former partner, Sara Bolland, criticised the jail term, saying it was too short.

In a statement, the Attorney General's Office said "The Solicitor General, Vera Baird QC, has decided to refer the sentence given to Nigel Gresham to the Court of Appeal.

"It will now be for the Court of Appeal, at a future hearing, to review the sentence to determine whether it is unduly lenient. If the Court of Appeal decides that the sentence is unduly lenient they have the power to increase the length of the sentence."

Ms Bolland's father, Pete, declined to comment on the decision directly, but said: "I'm not going to say yes or no. Just leave it up to the appeal judges to make the decision.

"He's probably learnt his lesson in that he thought he was going to get away with it and he hasn't and he has been sent to prison, and hopefully he has realised that he has done wrong. I hope he comes out a better person from it."

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