Bid to have killer driver jailed

Published: 02 December 2010

A granddad’s grieving family and friends are demanding a review of the non-custodial sentence handed to the motorist convicted of killing him by dangerous driving.

Outraged loved-ones have written to the Crown Prosecution Service asking for 56-year-old Michael Frost’s “unduly lenient” sentence to be referred to the Attorney General and Court of Appeal.

Frost had missed a sat nav direction, and reversed to take the turning, when he pulled across the path of 50-year-old Michael John Waters, riding in the opposite direction.      

He was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a recommended one-to-14 years’ jail, but was shown “mercy” by a judge because he’d been a cancer patient.

The court heard Frost had received treatment for neck cancer, including a 10-hour operation and chemotherapy, and in 2005 had been given a 15 to 20% chance of surviving five years.

He received a 51-week sentence suspended for two years, 200 hours’ community service, a two-year driving ban and was ordered to pay £2,000 court costs.

His daughter, son, ex-wife and several friends have since written to the CPS to complain.

A copy of the letter has been posted on an internet forum, prompting several other motorcyclists to send duplicates.

Waters’ best friend, Roy Gartside, said: “I find it amazing that a motorcyclist can go to jail for speeding and injuring no one but killing a motorcyclist doesn’t warrant a custodial sentence.”

Waters, a gas engineer from Deeping St James, Lincolnshire, was riding his Ducati 748 on the B660 near Catworth, Cambridgeshire, when Frost, of Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, crossed his path while turning onto the A14 in his Chevrolet Captiva.  

Frost denied causing death by dangerous driving, admitting only death by careless driving. He was found guilty of the more serious charge by a jury at Peterborough Crown Court on October 20, and warned by Judge Sean Enright he faced a “significant term of imprisonment”.

But when he returned to court to be sentenced on November 10, Judge Enright told him: “The sentence in these types of cases is usually custody. But there are a number of cases which allow mercy and I think that this is one.”

Waters had been looking forward to the birth of his second grandchild at the time of the crash.

His daughter Danielle said: “The sentence is an absolute disgrace.

“I’ve written to the CPS asking for the sentence to be reviewed and so has my brother, mum and one of my mum’s friends. I want justice to be done.”

Frost refused to comment. When telephoned, he said: “Where have you got my number from? No comment.”

Find the letter here