Enable Law represents Devon nurse who was killed in collision
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Specialist personal injury law firm, Enable Law, is not only representing the family of Devon nurse, Samantha Horne, but is also working with RoadPeace to call for longer sentences for dangerous drivers.
Samantha was 45 years old, the lead nurse at a GP surgery and mother to three children. In July 2021 she was riding her motorbike in Devon when the driver of a car turned across her path causing a collision which tragically killed Samantha.
The driver of the car was sentenced to seven and a half months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, 240 hours of unpaid work and was disqualified from driving for a period of 12 months.
In response to the sentence, Samantha’s father David said: “The present justice system and sentencing doesn’t reflect the seriousness of the loss of a life and impact that makes on the family. It was my impression that the driver treated the outcome of his carelessness in a cavalier manner and did not face up to his actions. Had he been arrested and within a short period of time charged with the offence then the case would have gone to court much earlier. Justice should not take 18 months and the sentence was inadequate for the taking of a life. I still cannot understand the suspended sentence the judge imposed as it’s not likely that the driver would repeat the offence especially in the first 12 months since he was also disqualified”.
After the sentencing, the family of Samantha Horne contacted Enable Law for support, as they felt let down by the justice system. Charlotte Morgan, a solicitor in the serious injury team at Enable Law, is currently representing the family and is working with the charity RoadPeace to call for:
- Longer sentences for dangerous drivers
- Lifetime driving bans
- Immediate suspension of driving licenses following a fatal or serious crash
- Tightening of the conditions for exceptional hardship
- A stricter and more robust system for driving
- Putting victims rights first
Charlotte Morgan commented: “The loss of a loved one and the impact of this will be felt throughout the rest of the family’s lifetime. To also feel the justice system has let you down is something that will linger for years if not decades as well.
“We see so many cases in which loved ones are lost due to collisions on the road, it is devasting for everyone involved. At Enable Law we are dedicated to supporting families through this process and are incredibly proud to be able to introduce and work with charities like RoadPeace, to try and bring about change.”
When asked to describe the impact that her death has had on the family, Samantha’s father said: “It’s difficult to stop the thoughts that go through my mind. That awful night with the Police Officer at the door – the worst night of my life. Even now I find it difficult to accept that my Sam is not here anymore. I’ll never see her smiling face which she always wore whenever she visited except in my mind and that breaks my heart. Sam is not there to make the children’s birthdays or Christmas special like she did or to take them kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, cycling, away in the van for the weekend, on holiday. Sam won’t be there when they get married or have children. Or be there to support them when they need it. Not there to enjoy their successes or pick up the pieces when they fail.
Nick Simmons, CEO of RoadPeace says: “Every day on the UK’s roads, around five people are killed and more than 60 are seriously injured in collisions. More than twice as many people are killed on the UK’s roads each year than as a result of murder and terrorism combined.
“People who kill with guns, knives and other lethal weapons get long custodial sentences – sending out strong messages to society that violent offences will not be tolerated and deterring future offenders.
“But in contrast, dangerous drivers who kill or seriously injure innocent people, get far shorter custodial sentences. Yet many were behaving recklessly at the time of the collision – speeding excessively, under the influence of drink or drugs or using a mobile phone at the wheel and many had previous motoring convictions, yet went on to kill.
“RoadPeace members urge the Government to make vital changes to the law to prevent road harm, increase general deterrence against road traffic offending, ensure that adequate sentencing is passed and provide better protection and compassion for road crash victims and bereaved families during the justice process.”
To find out more about RoadPeace and how it is supporting families please visit: https://www.roadpeace.org/