Doncaster residents call for tougher jail sentences

Ricky Hepworth
Ricky Hepworth

A ‘diabolical’ jail term for a Doncaster motorist who killed three pedestrians has sparked a petition for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers.

Ricky Hepworth, aged 24, was jailed for eight years last week after he admitted causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving following a tragic Boxing Day crash in Askern.

His sentence was diabolical. Those families will have to live with what he’s done for the rest of their lives

Anthony Holland

Residents are now throwing their weight behind the petition, which demands a higher sentence is introduced for those convicted of causing death by dangerous driving.

Askern-born Anthony Holland is one of those who has already signed the petition.

The 68-year-old said: “I think his sentence was absolutely diabolical.

“He’s given those families a life sentence and I think he should have been given life in prison.

“He’s already served three months and will be out in less than four years, while those two families will have to live with what he’s done for the rest of their lives.

“I think it should be taken higher, to Parliament, which is why I’ve signed the petition.

“Everybody in Askern is completely disgusted by it. Where’s the justice in that sentence?

“They’ve been completely let down by the judicial system, it’s as simple as that.

“Those three were so well-known and loved in Askern that their deaths have completely torn the place apart.”

Andrew Tomlinson, aged 48, and his wife Faye, 54, died following the collision, along with Mandy Deere, 54.

Mrs Deere’s husband, John, 57, remains in hospital and has suffered life changing injuries.

Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband said: “I have the utmost sympathy for the families of those killed and injured in this horrific incident and I share the strength of feeling in the community about this case.

“The sentencing of any individual is a matter for the judge but it is essential that courts fully take account of the point of view of victims and their families and the impact on them.”

Hepworth, of Newmarche Drive, Askern, was at the wheel of a Volvo S60 when it ploughed into the group of pedestrians in Sutton Road.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that he was ‘showing off’ to his two 15-year-old passengers when he ploughed into the friends, who had been enjoying a night of festive celebration on December 26 last year.

n Visit Petitions UK Government & Parliament to sign the petition.