Sentence too short for killing Dagenham engineer, says mum
A mother has called for tougher sentences after the teenage motorcyclist who killed her son was locked up for less than five years.
Ryan Birkett, now 17, was doing a 60mph wheelie on a stolen motorbike when he smashed into the side of Bradley White’s Peugeot in Goresbrook Road, Dagenham, on July 14 last year.
Bradley’s 23-year-old friend Peter Tickner, of Starmans Close, was a passenger in the car and died instantly after the motorbike embedded into the vehicle.
Appearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday, Birkett, of Baden Powell Close, Dagenham, was sentenced to four years and eight months in a young offenders’ centre and banned from the road for six years.
Peter’s mum Dee told the Post she was relieved the judge had handed out the most severe punishment available to him, but called for tougher sentences for those causing death by dangerous driving.
“People need to understand that if they act that way the consequences will be extremely serious,” she said.
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“Otherwise they will continue to take the risks and more lives, like Peter’s, could be lost, and families devastated.”
The court heard that Birkett, who admitted death by dangerous driving, has numerous previous convictions and was on bail for robbery at the time of the smash.
“He hasn’t shown any remorse so far,” Dee, 56, added. “I hope he comes out [of the youth offenders’ centre] a better person, then maybe some justice has been done.”
She said the past 15 months had been extremely tough, but explained that a fantastic support network of friends and family, including daughters Laura, 27, and Karol, 26, had helped her through.
“We’re all very close, including Peter’s girlfriend Nancy, Bradley, many of his other friends and Peter’s father (also named Peter),” she said.
“Every Wednesday many of them come around for ‘Dinner with the Tickners’ and we talk about him lots. It’s lovely and has really helped me through.”
Peter was working as an engineer at the Olympic site in Stratford at the time of his death.
“He was so happy with the job and he absolutely adored Nancy,” said Dee. “He had everything to live for.”
Her daughters and Peter’s friends have raised about �4,000 for road safety charity Brake in his memory.