Fatal hit and run driver’s 56-month jail sentence ‘a slap in the face’, victim’s family says
PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 November 2020
The daughter of a man killed in a hit and run has described the driver’s 56-month prison sentence as “a slap in the face”.
Postman Jeff Hollis – who lived in Wilfred Avenue, Rainham – was found dead after Karolis Andriukaitis smashed into his car at the junction of Oxlow Lane and Heathway in Dagenham.
Andriukaitis was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on November 2 after being charged with causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop and failing to report a collision.
Jeff’s daughter, Jamie Tilbrook, said: “We were really disappointed. We got our hopes up for him to get the maximum sentence. We set our hearts on that and that we would get some sort of justice.
“It felt like an insult. It was a big slap in the face. He’s destroyed our family. Dad was the pinnacle of our family. He was such a good soul.”
Jamie told how the family was devastated after Andriukaitis initially pleaded not guilty before changing his plea.
“We thought it was going to drag on because of the backlog of cases. We were all just really upset and felt like we weren’t going to get any closure. When he pleaded guilty it was a relief,” Jamie said.
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The family hoped son Ben’s statement in court would swing the sentencing in their favour.
However, Jamie said the judge downgraded the offence from the top level, meaning the sentence could not exceed eight years. He was sentenced to four and a half years.
“[Andriukaitis] was driving at 60mph in a 30 zone. What do you need to do to get a maximum sentence?” Jamie said.
A spokesperson for the judiciary said: “Judges sentence according to the facts of the case and to the sentencing guidelines.”
The family has been told there is no point appealing the sentence.
“We won’t appeal. It would be setting ourselves up for more heartache,” Jamie, 33, said.
Instead, the family is focused on campaigning to raise money for road safety charity, Brake, increase awareness and push for a change in the law.
“People need to know, anyone’s relative could die like this. It’s not right,” Jamie said.
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