Rail Deaths Parents Get Suspended Jail Term Sentence
Whitney, Anna, The Independent (London, England)
A MAN whose daughter was killed on a railway line while she was in the care of her friend's "appallingly negligent" parents spoke of his anger after the couple were given suspended jail sentences yesterday.
Sophie George, aged seven, and Kymberly Allcock, eight, died when they were hit by a train as they lay on a railway bridge near Borth, west Wales, after going on a family picnic in July last year.
Gareth and Amanda Edwards, Sophie's parents, were found guilty at a trial in July, and sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, at Caernarfon Crown Court yesterday.
After the verdict, Kymberly's father, Tony Allcock, said: "I am devastated. They call this justice. Two innocent lives have been taken away here. I'm not just talking about my own daughter.
"This is not a minor crime, it's manslaughter - it deserves a punishment. What the judge is doing is allowing people to go and commit manslaughter, and saying, `We will prosecute but we will not sentence you.' Where is the justice? Aren't we all here to look after our children?" He later added: "As far as I am concerned, they should be charged with murder. Never mind the families. It's time people sat back and thought about the two girls. What have they got?"
Sentencing, Mr Justice Richards told the couple, from the village of Tre'r-ddol, near Aberystwyth in west Wales, that the trauma of the accident meant that they deserved "compassion" from the court. They have split up since the accident. The judge told them he was being lenient because they had suffered enough and because they might have been misled when deciding where to picnic. …