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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 February, 2004, 11:20 GMT
Hit-and-run driver's sentence cut
CJ Oakford
CJ Oakford died in hospital from his injuries after the road accident
A hit-and-run driver who caused the death of a nine-year-old boy has had his sentence reduced by two months.

Illegal immigrant Kamel Kadri, who had no insurance and tax, was jailed for driving and passport offences after killing Callum Oakford in West Sussex.

But the Crown Prosecution Service said the judge had exceeded his sentencing powers and the term should be cut.

Callum's mother, Lynn Oakford, said she was devastated the sentence was cut from eight to six months.

The whole family is disgusted, amazed and confused by the justice system
Kathryn Proudfoot, Callum's sister
Kadri appeared at Chichester Crown Court before Judge Anthony Thorpe who had sentenced him originally.

Judge Thorpe said he had to reduce the sentence because of a "technicality".

He told Kadri: "My hands are tied. In the light of this technicality, which the public will find hard to comprehend, I have no choice but to reduce your sentence.

"I regard your sentence as no way commensurate to what you did.

"The results of your driving are being ignored by the courts."

Kamel Kadri
Kamel Kadri entered the UK illegally in 2001

Callum, known as CJ, was hit by Kadri's Renault 5 on the A259 at Ferring on New Year's Day.

Kadri admitted having no tax, MoT, or insurance and also pleaded guilty to failing to stop after an accident, failing to report an accident, and using a false passport.

The 38-year-old Algerian had entered the UK illegally in 2001 and had his asylum application turned down the following year.

He was originally jailed for 24 months after being given eight months for the driving offences and 16 months for the passport offence.

Callum's family have started campaigning for hit-and-run drivers who kill to be charged with manslaughter.

Outside the court, Callum's sister Kathryn Proudfoot said the reduction had made them even more determined to bring about a change in the law.

She said: "The whole family is disgusted, amazed and confused by the justice system.

"We feel very let down there is no penalty for hitting a person and leaving them to die."

The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"The law says he can only be given a maximum of six months"

Mother's shock at jail term cut
10 Feb 04  |  Southern Counties
Hit-and-run driver's sentence cut
10 Feb 04  |  Southern Counties
Driver jailed after hit-and-run
05 Feb 04  |  Southern Counties

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