JUSTICE FOR JAMIE: ‘I know he would be proud of us’ - Family’s tears as 2,000 sign petition
06:00 02 November 2012
THE family of crash victim Jamie Butcher sat weeping on Monday night as they read the hundreds of supportive messages that have flooded in for their campaign.
Within just a few hours of its launch, more than 1,000 people had signed the Justice for Jamie petition, which calls for tougher sentences in death by dangerous driving cases.
Jamie, 22, was mown down and killed on a pedestrian crossing in Churchill Road, Wisbech, in February last year.
Driver Michael Moore, of Murrow Lane, Parson Drove, was doing almost twice the speed limit and had run a red light. He hit Jamie with such force that his body was found 44m from the crossing. Moore was jailed for just 43 months in April.
Since that sentence, the Butcher family have joined forces with The Wisbech Standard and MP Steve Barclay to demand tougher punishments for dangerous and killer drivers.
‘I don’t want other families to feel this pain’
IT was not until 8pm on Monday that Jamie Butcher’s mother was able to sign her own petition.
Tina Butcher and Steve Green, Jamie’s stepfather, had spent the day in front of television cameras, speaking with emotion about the crash and the dangerous driver that ruined their perfect family.
Their efforts meant that 1,000 people signed the Justice for Jamie petition in its first few hours of existence.
But it was not until the cameras had left that Tina could sign the petition herself.
When the website asked her to document her reason for signing, she simply wrote: “Because I love my son Jamie and I don’t want other families to feel this pain.”
Her signature is one of more than 2,000 that are already on the petition.
This week the Justice for Jamie campaign, first launched in this newspaper in July, went national.
Jamie’s mother Tina and stepfather Steve Green appeared alongside Mr Barclay on ITV’s Daybreak on Monday as shocking statistics on inadequate sentences hit the national press.
They said they had been touched by the messages of support left on the petition.
Tina said: “On Monday night, we sat reading through all the messages and had a little bit of a cry. This is not going to bring Jamie back, but it might help other families.
“What we’re doing now is almost turning my hatred for Jamie’s killer into something good. My daughter Hollie told me that he is not worthy of my time or my thoughts. I think that was quite a wise thing to say.
“I think Jamie would be proud of what we’re doing. We’re quiet people, we wouldn’t normally do this sort of thing. We keep to ourselves. I think he would be surprised and very proud.”
Mr Green said he would not give up until the Sentencing Council, chaired by Lord Leveson, had agreed to review sentencing guidelines in dangerous driving cases.
“I would like Lord Leveson to read every single one of the messages on that petition,” he said. “Then he would realise what these devastated families are going through.
“Even after almost two years we are torn to pieces and tomorrow it will be another family who suffers.”
THE Justice for Jamie campaign attracted about 2,000 petition signatures in the first three days and it has also been backed by MPs and charities.
Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson was quick to join his colleague Mr Barclay in support of the campaign.
He said: “Victims’ families often feel let down by the justice system when a dangerous driver who kills a loved one receives a lenient sentence.
“The maximum sentence of 14 years has never been used and only one in 10 of those convicted went to prison for more than five years.”
Mr Barclay has stated that the sentencing laws are not being used “as parliament intended” and road safety charity Brake has also backed the campaign.
Julie Townsend, Brake’s deputy chief executive, said: “This campaign is crucial because letting off drivers who kill with lenient sentences, or sometimes no jail term at all, implies that driving dangerously, even when it results in loss of life and terrible suffering, is only a minor transgression.”
JUSTICE for Jamie posters are set to go up across the country after his family called in the help of his friends from university.
Jamie, a former Neale-Wade Community College student, graduated from Leicester’s De Montfort University with a degree in human psychology.
Mother Tina has been using Jamie’s Facebook profile to get in touch with his friends across the country, who have agreed to promote the campaign in their regions.
Jamie’s family are also printing hundreds of flyers and posters to distribute across the Fens.
They have been helped by a donation of £200 from Wisbech firm Pike Textiles - where Jamie used to work.
• SIGN THE JUSTICE FOR JAMIE PETITION BY VISITING WWW.STOPDANGEROUSDRIVERS.COM