Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Grieving Father Wants Answers on Killer Driver

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Grieving Father Wants Answers on Killer Driver

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Kennedy Court Reporter

AGRIEVING father has called for tougher deterrents to stop dangerous drivers after a taxi driver was jailed for seven years for killing a teenage girl during a fit of road rage.

David Baillie had been granted a licence to drive a taxi despite having a shocking history of motoring offences.

As Baillie, off-duty at the time, carried out an aggressive overtaking manoeuvre after losing his temper with another driver, he ploughed into Sarah Jane Burke as she crossed the road.

The 17-year-old talented art and design student suffered catastrophic injuries and died five days later in hospital.

After seeing Baillie jailed for seven years, Sarah's father Stephen said there needed to be greater deterrents put in place to deal with the problem of dangerous drivers.

He also questioned how Baillie was not only on the roads but had been granted a taxi licence, despite his long list of previous convictions for motoring offences.

Fighting back tears, Mr Burke, 50, of Sunderland, who attended Newcastle Crown Court with wife Theresa said: "How could he have been on the road? How did he get a licence as a taxi driver? "His barrister said people make mistakes but how many mistakes can you make? He has been in prison before, banned before and taken the re-test before.

"As a family we've said he will get back on the roads, it's in his character. We feel he will be a danger again once he gets back on the roads.

"There has to be a deterrent now. I'm speaking for everyone who has suffered, there are people being killed on the roads every day."

Mr Burke revealed Sarah had signed up to donate her organs when she was 15 and after her death five people received organs from her body.

The proud father also revealed how the family have raised almost PS5,000 for the air ambulance which took Sarah to hospital after the accident. …

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