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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 May, 2003, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
Call for 'tougher' crash sentences
Families Bereaved through Car Crime
The pressure group is calling for tougher sentences
A seven-point plan to take action against drivers who cause death and injury in Northern Ireland has been presented to the Criminal Justice Minister Des Browne.

The strategy has been drawn up by pressure group Families Bereaved Through Car Crime, who met the minister at Stormont on Wednesday.

The move follows a referral by the Attorney General of several recent car crime judgements to the court of appeal on suspicion of being too lenient.

A special two-day hearing is to be held next month to review suspended sentences imposed on four drivers for causing death by dangerous driving.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster, Margaret Muir of the pressure group said they wanted tougher penalties.

We need tougher sentences for the most serious crimes and a minimum sentence for causing death through dangerous driving
Jane Morrice
Women's Coalition

"At this minute in time, judges have at their disposal a maximum of 10 years and none of the judges use this," she said.

"We are saying increase the sentencing which is what the government is proposing by the way, they are proposing that they increase it to a 14 year maximum sentence.

"We are fine with that but we still believe that there should be a mandatory minimum sentence set so that the judge can still not hand out two or three years for causing the death of someone."

Women's Coalition deputy leader Jane Morrice said the government, courts and society needed to treat the risks posed by dangerous driving more seriously.

Supporting the Families Bereaved Through Car Crime strategy, Ms Morrice said sentences needed to be increased.

"We need tougher sentences for the most serious crimes and a minimum sentence for causing death through dangerous driving," she said.

Margaret Muir of Families Bereaved through Car Crime
"We would like to see a mandatory minimum sentence introduced"

'Lenient' crash sentences review
26 May 03  |  Northern Ireland
Bereaved families launch campaign
11 May 02  |  Northern Ireland

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