Words by Jack Beavis
A motorist convicted of death by dangerous driving earlier this year after killing two cyclists, will appeal his ten year jail sentence.
Alexander Walter, aged 30, received ten years and three months behind bars in April after hitting cyclists John Morland, 30, and Kris Jarvis, 39, in a stolen BMW sports car he was driving away from pursuing police in Purley, Berkshire.
Travelling at 70mph in a 30mph zone, Mr Walter was over twice the legal drink drive limit when he collided with the cyclists, who were riding on the pavement on the evening of February 13.
He pleaded guilty to a string of offences including two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle-taking, driving while disqualified and driving while uninsured at Reading Crown Court.
Already banned from driving for four years when the incident happened, Mr Walter had 67 convictions for previous offences.
With the appeal set for October 16, the fiancée of Mr Jarvis, Tracey Fidler, has vowed to appeal should the sentence be lowered. She told GetReading that “It could go either way, but if he gets what he wants I have already asked if I can appeal.”
Mr Walter had originally sent a letter to Miss Fidler and Hayley Lindsay, the partner of Mr Morland expressing remorse on the day of his sentence, but only two weeks later lodged an appeal against his sentence.
Miss Fidler continued: “There is no remorse, you wouldn’t appeal it. You would think okay, I got given that amount of time, that is what I will do.
“It doesn’t feel right that he only got 10 years as it is. It feels like Kris and John are worthless. He will come out and get on with his life, we are the ones with the life sentence.”
Miss Fidler and Miss Lindsay have helped set up an online petition calling for the sentencing structure for death by dangerous to change, garnering local support and over 22,000 signatures.
Currently, regardless of the number of victims, the maximum sentence is 14 years. The petition calls for the sentence to be the maximum of 14 years per victim, automatically. In this case Mr Walter would have received a jail term of 28 years.
The e-petition can be found here.