Johnny Wood, of Cudworth, met with Justice Minister Robert Buckland QC on Wednesday to speak about his fight for tougher sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving, more funding to police forces and a tightening of probation rules; after his sister Jacqueline Wileman was killed when the HGV careered into her.
Jacqueline, 58, was walking on her daily route on Common Road, Brierley, when she was hit by the HGV last September.
David Mellor, of Bank End Road, Worsbrough Dale, was employed by Barnsley-based City Freight Services and held the HGV to ransom, claiming he was owed two-and-a-half weeks’ wages.
It was being driven by unlicensed Karn Hill and carrying Wayne Carroll, Alan Mawhinney and Mellor when it failed to negotiate a left-hand corner and careered into her. All four men were convicted for causing death by dangerous driving and received between ten-and-a-half and 13 years in prison.
However, Jacqueline’s brother Johnny said the sentences given to all defendants in the case was ‘not enough’.
The 61-year-old met with justice minister and MP Robert Buckland QC in Parliament for more than an hour on Wednesday.
“We - as a family - were let down because of lack of police funding in Barnsley and lack of staff,” said Johnny. “If there had been more officers the stolen lorry could have been picked up and prevented her death.
“I also spoke with the justice minister about the problems with the probation service and the sentences given. The number of years given to the men was ridiculous.
“As well as this I pointed out that the government had let us down. There have been many let downs. We just want criminals who do horrendous things like this to get the maximum sentence. The justice minister was very good and sat and listened patient.
“Every aspect that let our family down he will be looking into. He will be liaising with Stephanie Peacock MP and it will possibly take a year before there will be interviews to investigate the issues. I am very pleased.”
An internal review has also been launched by the Probation Service as David Mellor, 48, was under its supervision when he stole the lorry and had already clocked up dozens of offences.
Speaking in Parliament on the matter last month, Stephanie Peacock - who was praised by Johnny for her support given to the family - said: “It can be argued that these men should not have been on the streets and able to commit these tragic crimes in the first place.”
Ms Peacock also met with the family in Parliament on Wednesday and said: “Jacqueline’s family feel like the justice system has let them down at every opportunity, and the meeting in Westminster was a vital opportunity for them to have their say to the very person who can make the long overdue changes.
“The Minister appeared sincere in his pledge to gather more answers that Johnny and his family urgently need surrounding the circumstances of Jacqueline’s death and the punishment of those responsible.
“But sadly, the Government could not confirm when they would be increasing the maximum sentence, meaning we will have to wait even longer for action the Government promised in 2017 and to me as recently as April.
“I was pleased to secure this meeting and the further commitments from the Justice Minister for Jacqueline’s family, but I will continue our campaign on longer sentences to make sure nobody else has to go through what Jacqueline’s family have.”